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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-332
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-332
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Jul 2020

16 Jul 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The Value of Citizen Science for Flood Risk Reduction: Cost-benefit Analysis of a Citizen Observatory in the Brenta-Bacchiglione Catchment

Michele Ferri1, Uta Wehn2, Linda See3, Martina Monego1, and Steffen Fritz3 Michele Ferri et al.
  • 1Alto-Adriatico Water Authority (AAWA), Cannaregio 4314, 30121 Venice, Italy
  • 2IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
  • 3International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria

Abstract. Citizen observatories are a relatively recent form of citizen science. As part of the flood risk management strategy of the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment, a citizen observatory for flood risk management has been proposed and is currently being implemented. Citizens are involved through monitoring water levels and obstructions and providing other relevant information through mobile apps, where the data are assimilated with other sensor data in a hydrological-hydraulic model used in early warning. A cost benefit analysis of the citizen observatory was undertaken to demonstrate the value of this approach in monetary terms. Although not yet fully operational, the citizen observatory is assumed to decrease the social vulnerability of the flood risk. By calculating the hazard, exposure and vulnerability of three flood scenarios (required for flood risk management planning by the EU Directive on Flood Risk Management) with and without the proposed citizen observatory, it is possible to evaluate the benefits in terms of the average annual avoided damage costs. Although currently a hypothetical exercise, the results showed a reduction in avoided damage of 45 % compared to a business as usual scenario. Thus, linking citizen science with hydrological modelling, and to raise awareness of flood hazards, has great potential in reducing future flood risk in the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment. Moreover, such approaches are easily transferable to other catchments.

Michele Ferri et al.

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Michele Ferri et al.

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Short summary
As part of the flood risk management strategy of the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment (Italy), a citizen observatory for flood risk management is currently being implemented. A cost benefit analysis of the citizen observatory was undertaken to demonstrate the value of this approach in monetary terms. The results show a reduction in avoided damage of 45% compared to a scenario without implementation of the citizen observatory. The idea is to promote this methodology for future flood risk management.
As part of the flood risk management strategy of the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment (Italy), a...
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