Planning and Suitability Assessment of Large-scale Nature-based Solutions for Flood-risk Reduction

Mubeen, A. et al. | Water Resources Management | 2021 | Peer Reviewed | Methodological article| Original research |


Adverse effects of climate change are increasing around the world and the floods are posing significant challenges for water managers. With climate projections showing increased risks of storms and extreme precipitation, the use of traditional measures alone is no longer an option. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) offer a suitable alternative to reduce the risk of flooding and provide multiple benefits. However, planning such interventions requires careful consideration of various factors and local contexts. The present paper provides contribution in this direction and it proposes a methodology for allocation of large-scale NBS using suitability mapping. The methodology was implemented within the toolboxes of ESRI ArcMap software in order to map suitability for four types of NBS interventions: floodplain restoration, detention basins, retention ponds, and river widening. The toolboxes developed were applied to the case study area in Serbia, i.e., the Tamnava River basin. Flood maps were used to determine the volume of floodwater that needs to be stored for reducing flood risk in the basin and subsequent downstream areas. The suitability maps produced indicate the potential of the new methodology and its application as a decision-support tool for selection and allocation of large-scale NBS.