Dealing with change and uncertainty within the regulatory frameworks for flood defense infrastructure in selected European countries

Goytia, Susana, Pettersson, Maria, Schellenberger, Thomas, Van Doorn-Hoekveld, Willemijn and Priest, Sally J. (2016) Dealing with change and uncertainty within the regulatory frameworks for flood defense infrastructure in selected European countries. Ecology and Society, 21 (4). ISSN 1708-3087

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Abstract

Whereas existing literature on the interactions between law, adaptive governance and resilience in the water sector often focuses on quality or supply issues, this paper addresses adaptation in national water laws in relation to increasing flood risks. In particular, this paper analyzes the extent to which legal rules governing flood defense infrastructure in a selection of European countries (Sweden, France, England and the Netherlands) allow for response and adaptation to change and uncertainty. While there is evidence that the legal rules on the development of new infrastructure require that changing conditions be considered, the adaptation of existing infrastructure is a more complicated matter. Liability rules fail to adequately address damages resulting from causes external to the action or inaction of owners and managers, in particular extreme events. A trend towards clearer, and in some cases, increased public powers to ensure the safety of flood defense infrastructure is observed. The paper concludes that legal rules should ensure not only that decisions to build flood defenses are based on holistic and future-oriented assessments, but also that this is reflected in the implementation and operation of these structures.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article number = 23
Keywords (uncontrolled): Adaptive governance; flood defense; flood risk; flood risk management; water law
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 20647
Notes on copyright: Copyright © 2016 by the author(s). Published under license by The Resilience Alliance.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Sally Priest
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2016 11:39
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 22:35
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/20647

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