Flood risk assessments—Exploring maturity and challenges in Sweden

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Abstract

Floods are destructive to society. Hence, to assess and manage flood risk is imperative. Flood risk assessments require several layers of analysis, from flood hazard to societal impact. This paper explores the maturity level and challenges related to three components of a comprehensive risk assessment: flood hazard, direct consequences, and indirect consequences. This is achieved by introducing and applying a maturity framework on flood hazard reports and flood risk management plans in Sweden, as required by the EU Floods Directive (FD). A longitudinal analysis is conducted over two FD cycles (2009–2015 and 2016–2021). Complementary interviews with county administrative boards and responsible authorities provide deeper insights into processes and practical challenges. The results reveal that the maturity level of flood hazard assessment is high, while direct and, in particular, indirect consequences assessments need increased attention and substantial improvements. Further, there is no significant increase in maturity between the FD cycles, indicating fundamental challenges towards achieving this. Critical steps forward include developing applicable methods for analysing both direct and indirect consequences of floods, improving data availability on functionality and interdependency of critical infrastructure and society at large, and creating incentives for a broader range of societal actors to participate in flood risk management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Flood Risk Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Free keywords

  • assessment
  • critical infrastructure
  • flood risk
  • floods directive
  • framework
  • interdependencies
  • maturity
  • Sweden

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