As climate changes, Sweden is expected to experience increased risks from various water-related hazards, which can cause cascading effects with disruptions across vital societal functions and critical infrastructures. Which social groups in Sweden will be affected by these disruptions is unclear, as are the economic, social and physical factors that will determine these groups’ coping capacities.

Insights gathered from the projects HydroHazards and UNCHAIN, both of which collaborated with the Municipality of Halmstad, provide the basis of this work. The authors propose using current municipal assessments as a starting point to better understand social vulnerability. Expanded to investigate who depends on critical infrastructure and vital societal functions, this work should lead to an exploration of socioeconomic impacts of weather-related disruptions.

Key messages

  • Disruptions in critical infrastructure and related vital societal functions are most likely to hit the most vulnerable the hardest; however, their cascading effects can put other social groups at risk that are not initially considered vulnerable.
  • Local level assessments are needed, as social vulnerability depends on the spatial, temporal and situational context.
  • Municipalities can use assessments of critical infrastructure and related vital societal functions as a starting point to assess social vulnerability; the impact chain model can support this assessment.

Läsa på svenska: Väder, välstånd och välbefinnande: Vattenrelaterade risker, samhällsviktig verksamhet, och social sårbarhet i Halmstad, Sverige. https://doi/org/10.51414/sei2022.039