Plot comparing the efficiency with which flood risk management is carried out and the effect on addressing socio-economic inequality.
The efficiency with which flood risk management is carried out is the greatest determinant on outcomes for the poor, but a focus on policy equity has a noticeable additional effect on addressing inequality. Credit: Moulds et al. [2021], Figure 4b
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Water Resources Research

It is well known that, on average, poorer people live in places that are more exposed to flooding compared to richer people; this is known as ‘exposure bias’. The paper by Moulds et al. [2021] is a collaboration between scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Sierra Leone. They have adapted a socio-hydrological model to simulate the effects that flood risk management interventions have on poverty and inequality. Besides showing that in general it matters a lot how flood risk management is targeted in urban areas, they explore the impacts on inequality demonstrating how pro-poor policies can reduce inequality as well as reducing flood risk overall. This is a significant step towards introducing social heterogeneity in socio-hydrological models.

Citation: Moulds, S., Buytaert, W., Templeton, M. R., & Kanu, I. [2021]. Modeling the impacts of urban flood risk management on social inequality. Water Resources Research, 57, e2020WR029024. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR029024

—Jim Hall, Editor, Water Resources Research