Maximizing joint economic and ecological robustness in floodplain planning

Caitlin Spence, T.E. Grantham, LeRoy POFF, Casey M Brown

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Climate nonstationarity and uncertainty raise important issues related to design and planning within the water sector. In addition, the water sector has acknowledged the need for improved methods of incorporating impacts of water resources development on ecosystems into project evaluation. We present a decision analytic approach to selecting flood management portfolios that maximize robustness to climate change of both economic and ecological objectives. Robustness is measured according to the breadth of possible change in climate variables that can occur while maintaining acceptable economic and ecological performance of the flood management system and floodplain. A satisficing criterion is used for performance assessment, in which thresholds in quantifiable economic and ecological performance metrics delineate acceptable performance. The model is applied to choose combinations of infrastructural and non-structural, options-based flood management interventions on the Iowa River. Present value of expected net cost is used as the economic performance metric, while a hydrologically-based index representing floodplain activation measures ecological performance. Results demonstrate the tradeoffs between the high level of flood protection afforded through levee construction and low-regret reservoir re-operation strategy, which would expedite reservoir storage reduction and restore mid-magnitude flows downstream of a flood control dam
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2015
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
EditorsKaren Karvazy, Veronica Webster
Place of PublicationReston, USA
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479162
ISBN (Print)9780784479162
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


ConferenceWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress
Period1/01/11 → …


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