Examining business perceptions of flood risk in relation to the governance of flood mitigation on the Humber Estuary

Lewis, Carl Andrew Richard

October 2012

Thesis or dissertation

© 2012 Carl Andrew Richard Lewis. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis explores the reconciliation of economic development and flood risk mitigation on the Humber Estuary, England. As sea level-rise is increasing due to suspected anthropogenic climate change, the Environment Agency has taken a lead role in mitigating flood risk on the Humber estuary through the process of governance. However, in trying to balance sustainable economic development with flood risk mitigation, the Environment Agency has experienced considerable difficulty in engaging local and regional businesses within the governance process.

Analysis has found that although the overall importance of managing flood risk for businesses is reported to be greater in the present and the future than in the past, it remains more important for businesses which have previous experience of flooding than those which do not. Knowledge does not appear to transfer easily between different flood events, with concerns about recent pluvial flooding not percolating into risk perceptions concerning flooding from sea water. More alarmingly, businesses which have received flood risk information from the Environment Agency were found to have lower perceptions of the importance of flood risk management that those who had not, indicating a mismatch between scientific and lay knowledges. Without an understanding of how businesses perceive flood risk and how this affects participation within a governance process, the full engagement of the private sector within flood risk mitigation governance remains unlikely, therefore jeopardising sustainable economic development objectives on the Humber.

Department of Geography, Environemtn and Earth Sciences, The University of Hull
Eden, Sally; Haughton, Graham; Gibbs, D. C. (David C.), 1955-; Barron, Andrew; Manson, Susan (Flood and coastal risk management advisor)
Sponsor (Organisation)
Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain); Great Britain. Environment Agency
Grant number
ES/ F032773/1
Qualification level
Qualification name
10 MB
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