Coastal and river flood risk analyses for guiding economically optimal flood adaptation policies: a country-scale study for Mexico
Many countries around the world face increasing impacts from flooding due to socio-economic development in flood-prone areas, which may be enhanced in intensity and frequency as a result of climate change. With increasing flood risk, it is becoming more important to be able to assess the costs and benefits of adaptation strategies. To guide the design of such strategies, policy makers need tools to prioritize where adaptation is needed and how much adaptation funds are required. In this country-scale study, we show how flood risk analyses can be used in cost–benefit analyses to prioritize investments in flood adaptation strategies in Mexico under future climate scenarios. Moreover, given the often limited availability of detailed local data for such analyses, we show how state-of-the-art global data and flood risk assessment models can be applied for a detailed assessment of optimal flood-protection strategies. Our results show that especially states along the Gulf of Mexico have considerable economic benefits from investments in adaptation that limit risks from both river and coastal floods, and that increased flood-protection standards are economically beneficial for many Mexican states. We discuss the sensitivity of our results to modelling uncertainties, the transferability of our modelling approach and policy implications.