Flood risk perception and adaptation capacity: a contribution to the socio-hydrology debate
Abstract. Dealing with flood hazard and risk requires approaches rooted in both natural and social sciences, which provided the nexus for the ongoing debate on socio-hydrology. Various combinations of non-structural and structural flood risk reduction options are available to communities. Focusing on flood risk and the information associated with it, developing risk management plans is required but often overlooks public perception of a threat. The perception of risk varies in many different ways, especially between the authorities and the affected public. It is because of this disconnection that many risk management plans concerning floods have failed in the past. This paper examines the private adaptation capacity and willingness with respect to flooding in two different catchments in Greece prone to multiple flood events during the last 20 years. Two studies (East Attica and Evros) were carried out, comprised of a survey questionnaire of 155 and 157 individuals, from a peri-urban (East Attica) and a rural (Evros) area, respectively, and they focused on those vulnerable to periodic (rural area) and flash floods (peri-urban area). Based on the comparisons drawn from these responses, and identifying key issues to be addressed when flood risk management plans are implemented, improvements are being recommended for the social dimension surrounding such implementation. As such, the paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on human–environment interaction in socio-hydrology.