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A cost efficiency analysis of flood proofing measures for hydraulic risk mitigation in an Urbanized riverine area


Non-structural measures for flood risk mitigation are often more economically accessible, easier to implement, and are highly effective, especially in view of the pursuit of risk resilience objectives. Among the non-structural measures, more importance is increasingly being attributed to flood proofing interventions. There are two main types of flood proofing: dry proofing and wet proofing. An example of dry proofing is shielding, which involves the use of flood barriers that can be installed in the entrances of buildings or outside the buildings in order to avoid contact with the houses and deviate the water flow. Their use must be supported by a detailed hydraulic analysis to ensure the correct design is used. This kind of intervention also avoids inducing a feeling of false security (the levee effect) in the exposed population, and therefore contributes to increasing their resilience. The aim of the work presented here is to determine an optimal combination of and choice between different types of structural and non-structural measures through the development of a methodology for assessing the real efficiency levels of different measures, using a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and starting from the estimation of the direct flood damage. The application of the CBA to a case study of the Mela river in northeastern Sicily, which suffered a flooding event in October 2015, is supported by the determination of the real damages after the flood and the modeling of the same damages for alternative scenarios. The results affirm the possibility of reducing or avoiding some of the damage using the proposed flood proofing measures instead of classical ones.