Flood risk management under uncertainty in transboundary basins: a delicate balancing act

Heinrich, Dorothy F. and Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5333-8641 (2020) Flood risk management under uncertainty in transboundary basins: a delicate balancing act. International Journal of River Basin Management . pp. 1-24. ISSN 1571-5124 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/15715124.2020.1837845)

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Abstract

Flooding is an inherently uncertain hydrometeorological phenomenon. When it occurs in transboundary basins, the complexity of its management is amplified by international treaties and needs for political accountability. Little has been written about FRM under the inevitable uncertainty in these transboundary contexts. This paper addresses this gap through an exploratory case study of a new FRM plan (Plan 2014) in the Great Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River system in North America. We examine the evolving nature of contemporary FRM towards more flexible approaches in the face of increasing uncertainty. When this new management plan coincided with severe transboundary flooding, this highlighted deep tensions, notably between upstream and downstream communities, expert and lay opinion, and between the planners setting rules and the operators using those rules. This story also showcases the complex balancing act faced by flood risk managers operating across national boundaries who are asked to contend with hydrological variability as well as public needs for certainty. We contend that the negotiation and agreed dispute resolution processes surrounding these tensions is a fundamental component of FRM in international basins, and one that may become ever more important as climate change further increases the uncertainty regarding these hydrometeorological hazards.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Water Science and Technology
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 31186
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of River Basin Management on 19/10/2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15715124.2020.1837845.
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Depositing User: Josie Joyce
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2020 09:37
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 04:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/31186

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