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Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060224

Room for Rivers: Risk Reduction by Enhancing the Flood Conveyance Capacity of The Netherlands’ Large Rivers

1
Deltares, P.O. Box 177, NL 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
2
Department TPM, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, NL 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Abstract

The Netherlands has just finished implementing the Room for the Rivers program along the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in response to increasing river discharges. Recently, making more room for the river is, however, being challenged for future application because the flood defenses are assessed to be too weak and will need reinforcement anyway. To be able to decide on the most desirable policy for the remainder of the century, we require knowledge of all benefits and costs of individual interventions and strategic alternatives for flood mitigation. In this paper, we quantify some benefits of making more room for the rivers. We recognize and quantify two risk-reducing effects and provide results of analyses for the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in The Netherlands. Making room for rivers was originally advocated because it (1) reduces the consequences of flooding, as well as (2) reduces the probability of failure of the embankments. We have now quantified these effects allowing translation into risk reduction proper. Moreover, larger floodplain surface area may influence the relationship between discharge and flood level, which implies that rivers with widened floodplains are less sensitive to uncertainties about future river discharges. This does not reduce risk proper, but makes the river system more robust, as we shall argue in the discussion where we present risk reduction and robustness as complementary perspectives for assessing strategic alternatives for flood risk management. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood mitigation; room for rivers; conveyance; flooding; flood probability; flood consequence; flood risk; robustness; Rhine River; Meuse River; Netherlands flood mitigation; room for rivers; conveyance; flooding; flood probability; flood consequence; flood risk; robustness; Rhine River; Meuse River; Netherlands
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Klijn, F.; Asselman, N.; Wagenaar, D. Room for Rivers: Risk Reduction by Enhancing the Flood Conveyance Capacity of The Netherlands’ Large Rivers. Geosciences 2018, 8, 224.

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