Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-144
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-144

  10 Jun 2021

10 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Integrating social, economic, and environmental risk into flood management of aging dam infrastructure by combining cost-benefit and multi-criteria decision analyses

Cyndi V. Castro and Hanadi S. Rifai Cyndi V. Castro and Hanadi S. Rifai
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

Abstract. Management planning for aging dam infrastructure is typically conducted through the lens of a traditional cost-benefit analysis, in which flood characteristics are related to implementation costs while lacking endogenous consideration of environmental risks (i.e., pollutant dispersion, habitat disruption) and social impacts (i.e., vulnerability, community buy-in, hazard resiliency). To address this gap, we integrate cost-benefit ratios into a spatial multi-criterion decision analysis framework that amalgamates a suite of social and environmental criteria with stakeholder-defined weights and inundation outputs from standard flood control modelling. We use this framework to assess the costs and trade-offs for eight (8) alternative mitigation strategies associated with the Addicks and Barker Reservoir System in Houston, Texas, USA under extreme rainfall conditions. This case study illustrates how the total effectiveness of flood management scenarios may shift when flood modelling outputs are combined with spatially distributed environmental and social risks. We merge quantitative and qualitative data for high-risk decision-making, thereby fostering stakeholder collaboration amongst conflicting goals.

Cyndi V. Castro and Hanadi S. Rifai

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-144: an interesting approach', Mariana de Brito, 24 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Hanadi Rifai, 03 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-144', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply to RC2', Hanadi Rifai, 28 Aug 2021

Cyndi V. Castro and Hanadi S. Rifai

Cyndi V. Castro and Hanadi S. Rifai

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Short summary
Aging dams in the US require retrofit and management to ensure their functionality. The planning process is often driven by the cost of the retrofit and the benefits that would be derived. This paper integrates environmental risks and social impacts into a multi-criteria decision analysis framework to guide reservoir management planning and enhance mitigation effectiveness and addressing of flood vulnerabilities. Importantly, the framework integrates stakeholder input into the analysis.
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