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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Jul 2020

02 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The role of household adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability to flooding: a coupled agent-based and flood modelling approach

Yared Abayneh Abebe1,2, Amineh Ghorbani3, Igor Nikolic3, Natasa Manojlovic4, Angelika Gruhn4, and Zoran Vojinovic1,5,6,7 Yared Abayneh Abebe et al.
  • 1EnvironmentalEngineering and Water Technology Department, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2601 DA, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 2Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 3Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 4River and Coastal Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology, Denickestraße 22 (I), 21073 Hamburg, Germany
  • 5Center for Water Systems, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, EX4 4QF Exeter, UK
  • 6Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Belgrade, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 73, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • 7Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1 University Road, Tainan, Taiwan

Abstract. Flood adaptation measures implemented at household-level play an important role in reducing communities’ vulnerability. The aim of this study is to enhance the current modelling practices of human-flood interaction to draw new insights for FRM policy design. The paper presents a coupled agent-based and flood model for the case of Hamburg, Germany to explore how individual adaptation behaviour is influenced by flood events scenarios, economic incentives, and shared and individual strategies. Simulation results show that a unique trajectory of adaptation measures and flood damages emerge from different flood event series. Another finding is that providing subsidies increases the number of coping households in the long run. Households’ social network also has a strong influence on their coping behaviour. The paper also highlights the role of simple measures such as adapted furnishing, which do not incur any monetary cost, in reducing households vulnerability and preventing millions of euros of contents damage. Generally, we demonstrate that coupled agent-based and flood models can potentially be used as decision support tools to examine the role of household adaptation measures in flood risk management. Although the findings of the paper are case-specific, the improved modelling approach shows the potential to be applied in testing policy levers and strategies considering heterogeneous individual behaviours.

Yared Abayneh Abebe et al.

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Yared Abayneh Abebe et al.

Yared Abayneh Abebe et al.


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