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Aqueduct Global Flood Risk Analyzer - Assessing Current And Future Socio-economic Impacts Of River Flood Worldwide

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Tianyi Luo, Hessel Winsemius, Philip Ward
World Resources Institute1, Deltares2, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies3

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 11: Key vulnerabilities and security risks,


The Aqueduct global flood risk analyzer is a free web-based interactive tool, which measures regional economic losses due to river flood in urban damage, affected GDP, and affected population by country, province, and river basin across the globe. Not only does it enable users to estimate current flood risk, it also gives users the ability to project future flood risk with three climate and socio-economic change scenarios. These estimates can help decision makers quantify and monetize flood damage in cost-benefit analyses when evaluating and financing risk mitigation and climate adaptation projects. Additionally, the analyzer breaks down the future change in flood risk by climate change and socio-economic development, which helps decision makers identify the driver of future change and prioritize development focuses in strategic planning.


The method behind Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer is developed jointly by Deltares, Institute for Environmental Studies of University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and World Resources Institute. Most of the methods has been published already in peer-reviewed scientific journals (listed in the References section), and involves a cascade of models/steps, including 1) global hydrological and hydraulic modelling, 2) extreme value statistics, and 3) inundation modelling, 4) impact modelling, and 5) estimation of annual expected impacts, which enables us to generate annual expected urban damage, affected GDP, and affected population estimates for any given region around the world.


The World Resources Institute has developed an user-friendly online platform where policy and business decision makers can easily identify and quantify flood risks both in current and future for any given place to raise the awareness around disaster risk mitigation and climate change adaptation.

Winsemius, H. C., Van Beek, L. P. H., Jongman, B., Ward, P. J., and Bouwman, A.: A framework for global river flood risk assessments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1871-1892, doi:10.5194/hess-17-1871-2013, 2013.

Philip J Ward et al 2013. Assessing flood risk at the global scale: model setup, results, and sensitivity. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 044019

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