Measuring the Benefits of Flood Risk Reduction

by Leonard Shabman, Dep of Agricultural and Applied, Economics, Blacksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Risk-Based Decision Making in Water Resources VI


Property damages avoided, land price analysis, and contingent valuation were techniques used to estimate the economic benefits of flood risk reduction for residential land parcels in Roanoke, Virginia. Evidence of benefits also was available from voting behavior in a bond referendum. The benefit estimates from the different techniques diverged significantly, but in ways that can be explained by the limitations of the techniques. Benefit estimates should be treated as a first approximation of community and landowner interest in flood risk reduction, but final investment decisions will be justified in the political arena.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Floods | Soil treatment | Residential location | Public policy | Public health and safety | Pricing | Virginia | United States

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