A COST Action dedicated to natural flood retention on private land
Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of future flood events, leading to higher costs of flood damages and increasing the public demand for protective measures. Traditional flood protection measures, mainly based on grey infrastructure (i.e. dikes, dams, etc), are not sufficient to cope with dynamic flood risk alone. Nature-based solutions such as Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) are promising options to mitigate flood risks as a complement to grey infrastructure. These types of measures not only serve to reduce risk, they also provide additional ecosystem services including increased biodiversity and recreation opportunities. However, a common characteristic of green infrastructure measures is that they often claim more land than traditional methods.
The challenge is to consider multifunctional land uses, which enable temporary flood retention and flood storage on private land without restricting the provision of other ecosystem services. The reconciliation of flood risk management and land management is needed. Since all NWRM primarily need to be implemented on private land the consideration of multiple aspects includes: economic issues (e.g. how to compensate for or incentivize flood retention services); property rights issues (e.g. how to allow temporary flood storage on private land); issues of public participation (e.g. how to ensure the involvement of private landowners) as well as issues of public subsidies (e.g. how to integrate/mainstream flood retention in agricultural subsidies). LAND4FLOOD COST Action aims to address these different aspects and to establish a common knowledge base and channels of communication among scientists, regulators, land owners and other stakeholders in field.
For detailed information, see the LAND4FLOOD website