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Creators/Authors contains: "Sanders, Brett F."

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  1. Abstract

    Exposure to sea-level rise (SLR) and flooding will make some areas uninhabitable, and the increased demand for housing in safer areas may cause displacement through economic pressures. Anticipating such direct and indirect impacts of SLR is important for equitable adaptation policies. Here we build upon recent advances in flood exposure modeling and social vulnerability assessment to demonstrate a framework for estimating the direct and indirect impacts of SLR on mobility. Using two spatially distributed indicators of vulnerability and exposure, four specific modes of climate mobility are characterized: (1) minimally exposed to SLR (Stable), (2) directly exposed to SLR with capacity to relocate (Migrating), (3) indirectly exposed to SLR through economic pressures (Displaced), and (4) directly exposed to SLR without capacity to relocate (Trapped). We explore these dynamics within Miami-Dade County, USA, a metropolitan region with substantial social inequality and SLR exposure. Social vulnerability is estimated by cluster analysis using 13 social indicators at the census tract scale. Exposure is estimated under increasing SLR using a 1.5 m resolution compound flood hazard model accounting for inundation from high tides and rising groundwater and flooding from extreme precipitation and storm surge. Social vulnerability and exposure are intersected at the scale of residential buildings where exposed population is estimated by dasymetric methods. Under 1 m SLR, 56% of residents in areas of low flood hazard may experience displacement, whereas 26% of the population risks being trapped (19%) in or migrating (7%) from areas of high flood hazard, and concerns of depopulation and fiscal stress increase within at least 9 municipalities where 50% or more of their total population is exposed to flooding. As SLR increases from 1 to 2 m, the dominant flood driver shifts from precipitation to inundation, with population exposed to inundation rising from 2.8% to 54.7%. Understanding shifting geographies of flood risks and the potential for different modes of climate mobility can enable adaptation planning across household-to-regional scales.

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  2. Abstract

    This paper develops the concept of flood problem framing to understand decision-makers’ priorities in flood risk management in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region in California (LA Metro). Problem frames shape an individual’s preferences for particular management strategies and their future behaviors. While flooding is a complex, multifaceted problem, with multiple causes and multiple impacts, a decision-maker is most likely to manage only those dimensions of flooding about which they are aware or concerned. To evaluate flood decision-makers’ primary concerns related to flood exposure, vulnerability, and management in the LA Metro, we draw on focus groups with flood control districts, city planners, nonprofit organizations, and other flood-related decision-makers. We identify numerous concerns, including concerns about specific types of floods (e.g., fluvial vs pluvial) and impacts to diverse infrastructure and communities. Our analyses demonstrate that flood concerns aggregate into three problem frames: one concerned with large fluvial floods exacerbated by climate change and their housing, economic, and infrastructure impacts; one concerned with pluvial nuisance flooding, pollution, and historic underinvestment in communities; and one concerned with coastal and fluvial flooding’s ecosystem impacts. While each individual typically articulated concerns that overlapped with only one problem frame, each problem frame was discussed by numerous organization types, suggesting low barriers to cross-organizational coordination in flood planning and response. This paper also advances our understanding of flood risk perception in a region that does not face frequent large floods.

    Significance Statement

    This paper investigates the primary concerns that planners, flood managers, and other decision-makers have about flooding in Southern California. This is important because the way that decision-makers understand flooding shapes the way that they will plan for and respond to flood events. We find that some decision-makers are primarily concerned with large floods affecting large swaths of infrastructure and housing; others are concerned with frequent, small floods that mobilize pollution in low-income areas; and others are concerned with protecting coastal ecosystems during sea level rise. Our results also highlight key priorities for research and practice, including the need for flexible and accessible flood data and education about how to evacuate.

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  3. Abstract

    Soil erosion, poor water quality, and degraded ecosystems impose major cost burdens and challenges for stormwater managers. We present a stochastic hydro‐financial watershed modeling framework for designing an Environmental Impact Bond (EIB)—a new form of financing for comprehensive, watershed scale interventions. EIBs provide capital for interventions that is repaid over time with interest by stakeholders who experience reduced costs (savings). The EIB is also structured so stakeholders and investors share the reward of cost savings. The framework estimates cost savings from interventions and accounts for aleatory and epistemic uncertainty in costs, which in turn impacts the financial terms of the EIB. In particular, we show a method to reward investors for taking on the risk that interventions fail. The framework is applied to a transnational pollution and sedimentation problem on the U.S.‐Mexico border and has broad applicability for a wide range of environmental problems.

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  4. Abstract

    Flooding impacts are on the rise globally, and concentrated in urban areas. Currently, there are no operational systems to forecast flooding at spatial resolutions that can facilitate emergency preparedness and response actions mitigating flood impacts. We present a framework for real‐time flood modeling and uncertainty quantification that combines the physics of fluid motion with advances in probabilistic methods. The framework overcomes the prohibitive computational demands of high‐fidelity modeling in real‐time by using a probabilistic learning method relying on surrogate models that are trained prior to a flood event. This shifts the overwhelming burden of computation to the trivial problem of data storage, and enables forecasting of both flood hazard and its uncertainty at scales that are vital for time‐critical decision‐making before and during extreme events. The framework has the potential to improve flood prediction and analysis and can be extended to other hazard assessments requiring intense high‐fidelity computations in real‐time.

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