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Projects Socio-hydrological feedbacks and risk management

Our risk management and climate adaptation research focuses on developing and evaluating disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures and builds on our climate extremes and flood, drought & multi-risk simulations.

A focus area is to assess the dynamics in vulnerability and adaption and to address the feedbacks between the physical water system and societal responses (Socio-Hydrological feedbacks).

Below an overview



    Climate services have a crucial role in empowering citizens, stakeholders and decision-makers in taking climate-smart decisions that are informed by a solid scientific evidence base. The EU H2020 funded I-CISK project will innovate existing climate services by integrating local data and knowledge, perceptions and preferences of users with scientific knowledge. I-CISK will develop next-generation climate services based on a co-production approach so that climate services meet the climate information needs of citizens, decision-makers and stakeholders at the spatial and temporal scale relevant to them.

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  • COASTMOVE (2020-2025)

    We study the effect of sea level rise until 2100 and its effect on global coastal flood risk. Through coupling and an agent-based model to a global flood risk model, we can simulate projections in flood risk due to SLR and socio-economic trends.

    Future sea level rise (SLR) will increase coastal flood risk1 and threaten to displace up to 187 million people. COASTMOVE will develop a global agent-based model (ABM) to assess which coastal areas will be protected against sea level rise, and which areas will be abandoned through migration. This project studies the effect of sea level rise until 2100 and its effect on global coastal flood risk. Through coupling and agent-based model to a global flood risk model, we can simulate projections in flood risk due to SLR and socio-economic trends. The agent-based model simulates the adaptive behaver of households in the coastal zone, governments and the private sector (e.g. insurance). The project will deliver high resolution (1x1km2) global migration maps; show protection levels for different coastal areas, and projects insurance premiums for different coastal areas.

    Generic adaption approaches for sea level rise. After IPPC CZMS (1990)

     This research is conducted in collaboration with Deltares, University of Florida, UCSB, JRC, PIK. 

    Contact information: Jeroen Aerts, Toon Haer, Wouter Botzen and Philip Ward.

  • DOWN2EARTH (2020-2024)

    The Horn of Africa is a region plagued by recurrent droughts, which makes rural communities extremely vulnerable to water scarcity, food insecurity and economic losses during drought periods. Severe and prolonged droughts result in reduced soil moisture and groundwater reserves, which can lead to food insecurity, livestock loss and major water shortages; resources on which millions of people within the Horn of Africa drylands heavily rely. 

    The EU-funded DOWN2EARTH project will improve community-centric adaptation and resilience to droughts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The project will assess and address critical research gaps within these dryland regions, including i) how climate change affects the characteristics of rainfall and groundwater storage, ii) how the evolution of hydrological processes will impact the people who depend on them, and (iii) how local communities can best adapt to drought risk. DOWN2EARTH will employ state-of-the-art seasonal forecasts and decadal projections of climate change and develop community-relevant climate services for the agro-pastoral populations, through for example a mobile application. 

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  • Climate Adaptation Modelling, Directorate General for Climate Action, EU (2019-2021)

    The project includes:

    • a comprehensive assessment of climate adaptation model and tool methods, including recommendations for future research and a database detailing the use of individual models and tools,
    • a recommended approach for future work on climate adaptation to inform the next EU Commission climate adaptation strategy,
    • a series of use cases and case studies to highlight the potential application of rapid analysis of reviewed models and tools for policy and decision making.

    This study was conducted in collaboration with Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Deltares, Paul Watkiss Associates (PWA).

    Contact information: Rhian Ebrey, Dr Marleen de Ruiter, Prof. Jeroen Aerts and Prof. Wouter Botzen.

  • Forecast-based Financing for Food Security – F4S (2019-2021)

    The F4S project is seeking to strengthened the shift by the humanitarian actors from response after a shock/disasters to early measures/actions, before the first signs of food insecurity by:

    1. developing an impact-based forecasting model using machine learning on food insecurity drivers;
    2. collecting local knowledge on food insecurity and beneficiaries’ preference to key design elements of cash transfer programmes;
    3. evaluating the cost-effectiveness of different cash transfer mechanisms;
    4. exploring potential channels to disseminate knowledge and make first steps towards operationalisation.

    Contact information: Dr Gabriela Guimarães Nobre

  • RESILIO – bring your roof to life (2018-2021)

    With the RESILIO (Resilience nEtwork of Smart Innovative cLImate-adapative rOoftops) project, 10,000 m² of smart blue green roofs are being realized in Amsterdam. This is necessary because it rains more often and harder, as well as getting hotter. Excess rainwater is stored underneath the green layer of plants on the roof. The water can be retained or discharged with a smart valve connected to the weather forecast. This helps us to keep our feet dry and our heads cool. The roofs provide space for new nature, and that is good for the city. We bring roofs to life!

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  • Flood risk and climate adaptation: New York // Los Angeles (2016-2020)

    Goal: The project simulates the influence of Sea Level Rise and increased storminess on flood risk in New York City and Los Angeles. A series of climate, hydrodynamic and risk models have been used to simulate trends in flood risk over time. Different adaptation strategies have been developed varying from building code, NFIP based insurance, Nature based solutions and technical engineering approaches.

    Contact information: Prof. Jeroen Aerts and Lars de Ruig

    All references are mentioned here: