• China;
  • flood damage;
  • flood risk;
  • scenario development


The assessment of flood risk is now widely recognised to need research and data on both the probability and the consequences of flooding; the research reported here concentrates on the latter data input. Building on the UK Foresight Future Flooding project, this paper describes the development of future scenarios through which to assess possible future flood risk in the Taihu Basin area of China. In addition, we describe the flood damage assessment model that was developed there to build on these scenarios so as to calculate anticipated risk. Acknowledged methodological limitations remain, but some important developments have resulted. First, the pre-existing flood loss data that were available from Shanghai meant that this aspect of the risk model's input was more regionally appropriate than would otherwise have been the case. Second, the damage assessment has been related both to constructed scenarios and to an agreed National Plan, so that the two can be compared. Third, the scenario construction was linked in Taihu to the statistical base contained in the 2006 Yearbook and the Fifth National Socio-economic Survey data, giving a sounder ‘base case’ of current flood vulnerability than used in the UK Foresight Future Flooding project. Finally, much more attention was given here to agricultural production and flood risk, given the importance of agriculture in the Chinese economy and its focus on food production for a growing population.