Natural Hazards

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 77–97 | Cite as

Participatory modelling of vulnerability and adaptive capacity in flood risk management

Original Paper


Being part of the EU-project NeWater on adaptive water resources management, the Ukrainian Tisa river basin is presented as an example for a participatory study dealing with flood risk, vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The Tisa valley is regularly and increasingly faced with hazardous floods at very limited local budgets and high poverty rates. In order to make flood risk management more resilient and better adapted to climate change, scientists and stakeholders applied a set of qualitative and quantitative modelling approaches to characterise prevailing flood risk management, to discover respective vulnerabilities and to identify barriers and options of adaptive capacity. The former were found in the defensive mentality paradigm and the inert and hierarchical structure of present institutions, the latter in, firstly, an enormous potential to link the knowledge of different stakeholders in the region, secondly, a better integration of the individual flood preparedness of households and thirdly, the active involvement of the Church as institution in local flood risk management.


Flood risk management Vulnerability Adaptive capacity Tisa valley 



The author would like to thank the NeWater colleagues Jan Sendzimir, Piotr Magnuszweski, Sukaina Bharwani, Tom Downing, Martine Poolman, Carsten Bohn, Svetlana Kuptsova and Alexej Iaroshevitch. The EC supported this work financially (NeWater EU IP contract no. 511179 GOCE). Thanks also go to Volker Meyer and Nina Schwarz for very useful comments made on an earlier version of this manuscript. Thanks to the reviewers for their invaluable comments that enormously helped to improve the quality of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZDepartment of Computational Landscape EcologyLeipzigGermany

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