Natural flood management as a climate change adaptation option assessed using an ecosystem services approach

Oana Iacob, John Rowan, Iain Brown, Chris Ellis

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The UK climate is projected to get warmer with an increased likelihood of wetter weather and an increased incidence of extreme meteorological events. The risk of inland and coastal flooding is expected to become more severe, though with variable impacts depending on local exposure, vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity. Responding to this challenge will require traditional
    engineering schemes to protect specific assets but there is an emerging role for natural flood management (NFM) as a means to reduce flood risk while realising multiple co-benefits across the
    catchment. Here we present a meta-analysis of 20 recent European NFM projects, exploring their flood mitigation performance along with their wider impacts (positive and negative) on ecosystem services, as defined by the UK’s National Ecosystem Assessment. Some measures, such as upland afforestation, perform well in reducing flood risk but have significant impacts on food production and cultural services. Other strategies, including restoring floodplain connectivity or re-meandering have the greatest co-benefits e.g. improved biodiversity, water quality and carbon sequestration, but appear to be less effective in reducing the flood risk. A framework is presented as a decision-support
    tool, to aid options analysis between alternative NFM schemes within the context of different land management scenarios.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventBHS Eleventh National Hydrology Symposium - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Sept 20128 Sept 2012


    ConferenceBHS Eleventh National Hydrology Symposium
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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