Adapting to multiple water hazards in Sweden

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The focus of this study is the emerging research topic of multiple water hazards, which refers to hazardous events that occur simultaneously, cascadingly, or cumulatively over time (see e.g. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR 2016). Traditionally, impacts of water hazards have been assessed separately which may lead to an underestimation of risk (Zscheischler et al. 2018).

Case 6

Case content

Consequently, there is a need to also consider the consequences of combined hazards which has recently gained attention in Sweden. By adopting the impact chain approach (Fritzsche et al. 2014), we will in this study address climate risks and drivers of multiple water hazards at the local and regional level, including both hydrological and coastal hazards and the implications for society in terms of vulnerability and adaptive capacity. We will also aim to identify different types of adaptation measures. The case study will be conducted in collaboration with the research project HydroHazards (2020-2024) led by SEI together with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

Research Innovations

  1. Further understanding about drivers of multiple water hazards at the local and regional level, including both hydrological and coastal hazards with focus on the implications for society in terms of vulnerability and adaptive capacity.
  2. Identify different types of adaptation measures.

Study areas

Southern coastal regions of Sweden.

Stakeholders involved

Actors identified so far include municipalities, County Administrative Boards, the insurance sector, national authorities, and regional cooperation initiatives, (e.g. Regional kustsamverkan).

Summary data collection

A combination of research methods will be applied including qualitative interviews, surveys, document studies, focus groups and/or workshops.

Expected results

  1. Better understanding of risks related to multiple water hazards in Sweden and how they might impact coastal regions in Sweden.
  2. Insights into how the impact chain and stakeholder orieted approach may lead to relevant and useful knowledge for climate adaptation decision-makers and planners.

Case study responsible

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)