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Managing rising residual flood risk: A national survey of Aotearoa-New Zealand

Flooding is one of the most frequent and costliest natural hazards around the world. Traditionally, flood risk management has relied on building protective structures such as levees and dams to protect assets based on historical data (e.g., 1% AEP flood), which encourages development on floodplains, provides a potentially false sense of security to communities, particularly in the context of climate change, and increases residual flood risk (the risk remaining after implementing risk reduction measures). This article aims to contribute to the management of residual risk by drawing on empirical findings from a survey carried out with flood risk practitioners from the public and private sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. Findings indicate fundamental concerns relating to how to best manage residual flood risk, despite its long profile and integration in current policy and practice. Other issues revolve around the use of outdated information to guide decisions and the lack of regulatory power to restrict developments in flood-prone areas protected by hard defense structures. Identified barriers to improving current practice include the lack of national guidance and support, financial resources, public awareness, and some technical constraints such as uncertainties in flood modeling, staff expertise, and data availability.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
© 2023 The Authors. This is an open-access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.