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From Risk to Resilience #4: Evaluating Costs and Benefits of Flood Reduction under Changing Climatic Conditions: Case of the Rohini River Basin, India

Authors: Daniel Kull; Praveen Singh; Shashikant Chopde; Shiraz A. Wajih; The Risk to Resilience Study Team

This paper analyzes embankments and other flood control strategies along the Rohini Basin in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. It shows that traditional flood control structures, when all benefits and real costs are taken into account, actually were not economically beneficial. The maintenance of existing embankments into the future, as opposed to removal, however, would be beneficial since the investment in existing infrastructure has already been made. This paper also looks at a package of people-centered, flexible interventions which have lower initial investments and conclude that these interventions have high benefits and are resilient for the future. The analysis took into account existing river conditions, potential future flooding under climate change using downscaling (Risk to Resilience WP3), and also the various uncertainties presented by a lack of data. A key conclusion drawn methodologically, is that a stakeholder approach to cross-check the quantitative cost-benefit analyses, especially under data-poor conditions, is essential to proper disaster risk management planning. This prevents the misuse of cost-benefit analyses and allows it to become an effective disaster management tool.

Citation: Kull, D., Singh, P., Chopde, S., Wajih, S. A., & The Risk to Resilience Study Team. (2008). Evaluating costs and benefits of flood reduction under changing climatic conditions: Case of the Rohini River basin, India (Risk to Resilience Working Paper No. 4). M. Moench, E. Caspari, & A. Pokhrel (Eds.). Kathmandu, Nepal: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Boulder, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Nepal, & Provention Consortium.

Funded by: UK Department for International Development (DfID); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA); Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC).