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Improving flood risk analysis for effectively supporting the implementation of flood risk management plans: The case study of “Serio” Valley

pubblicazioni - Articolo

Improving flood risk analysis for effectively supporting the implementation of flood risk management plans: The case study of “Serio” Valley

Si presenta una procedura di mappatura quantitativa del rischio idraulico che vuole rappresentare un aggiornamento rispetto alle procedure qualitative attualmente adottate dalle Autorità di Bacino. La procedura è applicata ad un caso studio in Val Seriana.

The EU Flood Directive 2007/60 requires the assessment and delineation of flood risk maps. The latter should provide the required knowledge for the development of flood risk management plans (FRMPs), that should deal with all features of risk management: e.g. preparation, protection and prevention, comprising also the phase of the flood forecasting and warning systems, in addition to the emergency management. The risk maps, delineated through the expert-drive qualitative (EDQ) approach currently adopted in several European countries, such as Italy, fail to represent the information base that needed by stakeholders for selecting the suitable objectives and designing the appropriate mitigation actions for flood risk management.

In the EDQ approach, the flood hazard and the potential damage degree maps are combined by means of a matrix to obtain a qualitative flood risk map. However, the performance of the risk matrix is not usually rigorous validated and, therefore, presents limits, such as subjective and not careful explained interpretation of rating and poor resolution, (due to range compression), that can produce errors in comparative ranking of risk areas. In this context, this paper proposes the FloodRisk approach that aims to improve the efficacy of flood risk map overcoming the limits of EDQ approach in supplying the knowledge base that allow to analyze costs and benefits of potential mitigation measures. However, the proposed approach is also able to involve the citizens in the flood management process, enhancing their awareness.

An application of FloodRisk procedure is showed on a pilot case in “Serio” Valley, (North Italy), and its strengths and limits, in terms of additional efforts required in its application compared with EDQ procedure, have been discussed focusing on the efficacy of the outcomes provided for the fulfillment of FRMPs. The results have demonstrated the ability of FloodRisk, respect to EDQ approach, to distinguish successfully different levels of vulnerability of exposure elements, thanks to the use of asset value and depth-damage curves, that allows a suitably evaluation of the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies. In this light, a successfully application of a cost-benefit analysis of FloodRisk approach on a portfolio of alternative mitigation actions, (i.e. structural and non-structural measurements), has been demonstrated on the proposed study case.

However, FloodRisk requires additional information, e.g. water depths assessment and assets values, and it needs a proper analysis and communication of the uncertainty in its results. Although they still exist limitations that impede, at present, the FloodRisk application without an adequate understanding and a critical consideration of the hazard, exposure and vulnerability characteristics of the study area, considerations are supplied on how the utilization of this approach can be maximized in the light of the next flood risk maps revision due by December 2019.

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