Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Research article
03 May 2016
Research article |  | 03 May 2016

FLOPROS: an evolving global database of flood protection standards

Paolo Scussolini, Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts, Brenden Jongman, Laurens M. Bouwer, Hessel C. Winsemius, Hans de Moel, and Philip J. Ward

Abstract. With projected changes in climate, population and socioeconomic activity located in flood-prone areas, the global assessment of flood risk is essential to inform climate change policy and disaster risk management. Whilst global flood risk models exist for this purpose, the accuracy of their results is greatly limited by the lack of information on the current standard of protection to floods, with studies either neglecting this aspect or resorting to crude assumptions. Here we present a first global database of FLOod PROtection Standards, FLOPROS, which comprises information in the form of the flood return period associated with protection measures, at different spatial scales. FLOPROS comprises three layers of information, and combines them into one consistent database. The design layer contains empirical information about the actual standard of existing protection already in place; the policy layer contains information on protection standards from policy regulations; and the model layer uses a validated modelling approach to calculate protection standards. The policy layer and the model layer can be considered adequate proxies for actual protection standards included in the design layer, and serve to increase the spatial coverage of the database. Based on this first version of FLOPROS, we suggest a number of strategies to further extend and increase the resolution of the database. Moreover, as the database is intended to be continually updated, while flood protection standards are changing with new interventions, FLOPROS requires input from the flood risk community. We therefore invite researchers and practitioners to contribute information to this evolving database by corresponding to the authors.

Short summary
Assessments of flood risk, on global to local scales, are becoming more urgent with ongoing climate change and with rapid socioeconomic developments. Such assessments need information about existing flood protection, still largely unavailable. Here we present the first open-source database of FLood PROtection Standards, FLOPROS, which enables more accurate modelling of flood risk. We also invite specialists to contribute new information to this evolving database.
Final-revised paper