Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SYSTEM-RISK (A Large-Scale Systems Approach to Flood Risk Assessment and Management)
Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31
Work-Package 1 ‘Spotlight on the Atmosphere-Catchment System’ advanced scientific knowledge and develop innovative tools and approaches relative to three main elements of large-flood hazard assessment, characterization and modelling. This includes spatially coherent large-scale flood hazard scenarios, robust and objective assessment of drivers of flood hazard dynamics and simplified tools for flood hazard assessment and mapping.
Work-Package 2 ‘Spotlight on the River-Dike-Floodplain System’ improved the understanding of flood risk system behaviour in terms of river – dyke – floodplain interactions and developed innovative tools and approaches to assess the spatial distribution of risk at large scales. The main contributions are related to accounting for system behaviour in hazard and impact assessment, spatially coherent flood hazard modeling and mapping, and to support robust flood risk management under uncertainty.
Work-Package 3 ‘Spotlight on the Socio-Economic System’ investigated a range of different systems and different spatial and temporal dimensions looking into the governance frame, long-term mitigation and adaptation actions, business-supply disruption, and property damages. Progress has been made regarding the understanding of socio-economic flood impacts, interconnections and feedbacks influencing precaution, and insights into the value of empirical data.
The publication of peer-reviewed papers is a key pillar for disseminating the scientific findings from the ESR research. One successful example of the exploitation of research results is the online implementation of the ‘Smartflood’ tool. Smartflood is a web-based tool for a data-driven riverine flood hazard mapping at large scales. It offers a cost-effective alternative for consistent flood risk assessment over large areas. A second example is the LISFLOOD FP toolbox which is an open-source Python CLI package encompassing most methods commonly used to prepare input data for large scale flood inundation studies using the LISFLOOD-FP hydrodynamic model. These tools support large-scale flood mapping and risk assessment work worldwide.
SYSTEM-RISK aims at enhancing research- and innovation-related human resources, and skills to realize the potential of individuals and to provide new career perspectives. The discussion between the public and private sector, and academia has been stimulated by participating in international conferences and organizing the final international SYSTEM-RISK conference. These inter-disciplinary exchanges have moved the discussions about the usefulness of and requirements for implementing a systems approach to flood risk assessment and management to the broader context of the climate crisis and systemic risks. Limitations and potential of innovative tools have been discussed against the background of increased complexity and soundness of model approaches. Balancing both aspects is acknowledged by the community as very relevant to implement a systems approach. Importantly, a joint opinion paper calling for an ‘Evolutionary leap in large-scale flood risk assessment’ has been published to fuel the debate about enhancing the EU policy strategy for flood risk management. These contributions of SYSTEM-RISK research are timely to shape the next revision of flood risk management plans due for the EU Member States in 2021. The implementation of the directive needs adjustments regarding methods accounting for more process interactions in flood risk systems. Two policy briefs ‘Advanced tools for implementing a systems approach to large-scale flood risk assessment and management’, and ‘Improving flood risk assessment and management through a systems perspective’ provide arguments and science-based facts for the benefits of adopting a systems approach.