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Flood risk management, an approach to managing cross-border hazards

River flooding is a serious hazard in the UK with interest driven by recent widespread events. This paper reviews different approaches to flood risk management and the borders (physical, conceptual and organisational) that are involved.

Steve Cinderby, John Forrester / Published on 15 April 2016

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Bracken, L.J., E.A. Oughton, A. Donaldson, B. Cook, J. Forrester, C. Spray, S. Cinderby, D. Passmore, and N. Bissett (2016). Flood risk management, an approach to managing cross-border hazards. Natural Hazards, online 11 April 2016.

The paper showcases a multi-method approach to negotiating flood risk management interventions. The authors address three fundamental issues around flood risk management: differences and similarities between a variety of approaches; how different approaches work across borders between professionals, lay people, organizations and between different planning regimes; and, whether the science evidence base is adequate to support different types of flood risk management. They explore these issues through a case study on the River Tweed using Q methodology, community mapping and focus groups, participatory GIS, and interviews, which enabled co-production of knowledge around possible interventions to manage flooding.

The research demonstrated that excellent networks of practice exist to make decisions about flood risk management in the Scottish–English borders. Physical and organizational borders were continually traversed in practice. There was an overwhelming desire from professional flood managers and local communities for an alternative to simply structural methods of flood management. People were keen to make use of the ability of catchments to store water, even if land needed to be sacrificed to do so. There was no difference in the desire to embrace natural flood management approaches between people with different roles in flood management, expertise, training or based in different locations. Thus conceptual borders were also crossed effectively in practice.

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SEI authors

Steve Cinderby

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

John Forrester
John Forrester

SEI Affiliated Researcher

SEI York

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10.1007/s11069-016-2284-2 Open access
Topics and subtopics
Water : Adaptation, Disaster risk
Related centres
SEI York
United Kingdom

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