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Facing adaptation from infrastructure to insurance

This presentation features three DSC researchers and their respective projects.

Conrad presents on Infrastructure disruption from coastal flooding.

With rising sea levels New Zealand’s infrastructure becomes more exposed to coastal flooding. This research focuses not only on where, but also how future coastal flooding may disrupt national infrastructure. Coastal flooding may cause short-term disruption, such as temporary flooding of a railway line, or more significant damage that requires repairs, such as washed out bridges. Understanding these relationships between flood depths and resulting damage to infrastructure are a vital component of the modelling drawing on evidence from historic floods both local and globally. The team will produce an improved national dataset of extreme coastal flooding.

Andrew presents on Adapting to compound flood hazards.

This project is addressing compounding flood hazards on water infrastructure due to climate change. The research is investigating how flood hazards from rivers, sea-level rise and groundwater will combine either as extreme events (shocks), or as slowly emerging and increasingly persistent impacts. Working with researchers from TU Delft in the Netherlands, the team is testing Robust Decision Making (RDM) tools within a Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning (DAPP) process.

Kenny presents on Risk-based flood insurance pricing.

The property insurance market faces multiple stressors from increasing hazards, including floods, sea level rise and landslips. Concerns are emerging about the long-term viability of coastal insurance. It’s increasingly understood that insurers will turn to risk-based pricing to maintain coverage. On the one hand, this does encourage adaptation and better aligns payment with those who bear the risk. On the other hand, risk-based pricing raises concerns about equity, affordability and under-insurance, which are likely to get worse in flood-prone areas.