The affordability of flood risk property-level adaptation measures

16:15 Tuesday 28 May




Paul Hudson (Germany) 1

1 - University of Potsdam

The affordability of property-level adaption measures against flooding is important due to the movement towards integrated flood risk management. Integrated flood risk management requires those threatened by flooding to actively manage flooding through the employment of cost-effective property-level adaptation measures. However, a neglected aspect of this debate is the affordability of flood risk property-level adaptation measures. This is surprising given the prominence that affordability and social justice plays regarding flood insurance.

This paper asks the following question: what is the affordability of flood risk property-level adaptation measures across Europe? Moreover, potential ways of easing affordability burdens are considered. Additionally, the potential hotspots of flooding and affordability concerns are identified. In order to complete these tasks information on the costs of a range of flood risk property-level adaptation measures were collected. This information was complemented with interpolated income distributions at the NUTS 2 level across Europe. These two sources of data were combined across two different definitions of affordability drawn from the wider flooding research literature. In doing so it was found for a large proportion of Europe flood risk property-level adaption measures can be considered unaffordable. However, low-cost loans and vouchers can rapidly increase the affordability of property-level adaptation measures. Therefore, a combination of loans and vouchers is developed in order to target the identified hotspots of unaffordability and flood risk in order to increase the degree of equity in flood risk management and climate change adapation as a whole.