Abstract

This study presents the results of open-ended contingent valuation method (CVM) to estimate the residents’ maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for flood insurance and structural flood control measures in the Neka River Basin in Northern Iran. Flood inundation analysis and floodplain risk mapping were conducted by applying the HEC-RAS model combined with GIS analysis. A calibrated 100-year flood risk inundation map was considered as a basis for this research. This paper demonstrates applicability of CVM combined with flood inundation analysis to understand public participation for flood risk management, and their perception of flooding, considering associated socioeconomic and environmental factors. The results have shown that stated WTPs significantly varies with household income, distance people live from the river and the land use type of properties. Findings of this study suggest that the majority of respondents view flood hazard as the most important natural disaster. Furthermore, WTPs are significantly higher for those who have high level of flood risk perception. Three policy options for flood risk management are discussed, which include flood zoning and land use regulation, flood insurance program, and structural measure of levee construction. The advantages and disadvantages of each option are explored. It was concluded that a combination of possible mitigation options should be considered in order to achieve sustainable flood risk management in the Neka River Floodplain.

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