Estimates suggest that more than 5 million people (spanning 2 million homes and businesses) are at risk from flooding. This number is estimated to rise significantly, especially in urban areas where an additional 1.2 million people are expected to be at risk by 2050.
Natural flood management and social justice
New approaches to 'natural flood management' seek to work with, rather than against nature in recognition of the need to manage flooding in a sustainable way. This approach allows flooding in certain areas to reduce risks elsewhere. The recent flooding brought a challenge to this idea of flood management, however, since many of the affected communities feel that their susceptibility has increased as a result of policies and decisions pertaining to the management of floodwaters across catchment systems.
This project will draw upon the growing body of work exploring relationships between flooding and social justice.
This part of the project, led by Birmingham Business School, examines and compares businesses that have either been directly or indirectly affected by recent UK flood events. The research will explore how businesses are recovering from and preparing for future flooding. More specifically, the team are interested in what motivates small, medium or large businesses to plan for and invest in not only their own resilience, but of the community within which they are embedded. Uniquely, the team will examine the potential for intermediaries, such as insurance companies, to motivate both large and small businesses to engage in flood preparedness. Additionally, the research will extend work by Layla Branicki to examine how small businesses can use their existing capabilities to prepare for and recover from future flood events.
To examine the recovery and future preparedness of businesses both directly (e.g. small businesses, agriculture and infrastructure) and indirectly (e.g. insurance companies and food supply chain) affected by flooding, the project draws on research into business continuity, crisis management and small business management and resilience.
Environmental impacts and flood characterisation
The project draws upon recent hydrology research that highlights the heterogeneous nature of flood events, in particular, encompassing distinctions between groundwater and surface water flooding.