Policy ForumClimate Adaptation

Evaluating Flood Resilience Strategies for Coastal Megacities

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Science  02 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6183, pp. 473-475
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248222

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  1. CREDIT: NEONJELLYFISH/ISTOCKPHOTO
  2. Strategies for protection vs. reducing vulnerability.

    (Left) Strategy S2c reduces the length of the coastline of the NYC-NJ area as much as possible, to minimize flood protection costs. Two storm-surge barriers are developed: one large barrier that connects Sandy Hook in NJ and the tip of the Rockaways in Queens, NY, and a barrier in the East River. Some lower spots (bulkheads, levees, or landfill) on the inside of the protection system will be elevated to accommodate rising water levels caused by Hudson River peak discharges during a storm event. (Right) Strategy S3 combines cost-effective flood-proofing measures with local protection measures of critical infrastructure. Such a “hybrid solution” aims at keeping options open: either (a) building codes can be enhanced in the future with additional local protection measures or (b) storm-surge barriers can be developed. See SM for details.

  3. Costs and main BCA results of flood management strategies.

    (Top) Total costs. Environ. dyn., environmental dynamics; inv., total investment as billions of U.S. dollars; maintenance, maintenance costs as millions of U.S. dollars per year; n.a., not applicable. (Bottom) BCA results with modeling uncertainty as 95% confidence intervals (in parentheses). If BCR > 1, then the measure is cost effective. For S3, BCA results are shown for the scenario of high effectiveness of wet flood-proofing. See SM for details.