Oasis Innovation Hub for Catastrophe
and Climate Extremes Risk Assessment

WP2.1.1: Danube regional multi-hazard, multi-risk model


Work Package (WP) 2.1.1 demonstrates the added value of climate services to the insurance sector and beyond by applying a multi-hazard and risk model suite to the Danube region. The model is tailored to end-users such as insurers, to help them calculate adequate levels of capital and adaptation measures, enabling them to survive under changing climate conditions.

We concentrate on hazards such as fluvial and pluvial floods, droughts and heatwaves, under current and climate change conditions, which are linked to the vulnerability functions developed in WP 2.1.2. The outcome is a full-scale catastrophe model for the Danube basin, covering a catchment area of 817,000 km2 and over 83 million people.

Together with WP2.1.3 a further focus is to demonstrate the usefulness of the Future Danube Model for other sectors. One example is supporting adaptation decision making in public, industrial, finance and investment sectors (diversification of the methodology), working with the Association of Climate Friendly Municipalities located in the Danube basin. Another assesses the resilience of a larger infrastructure development using a proposed wastewater treatment plant in Novi Sad, Serbia, part of their EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II).


Target area

The entire Danube River Basin is covered by simulations for river flooding (fluvial floods). The basin covers 15 countries including significant proportions of Hungary, Romania, Austria, Slovakia and Serbia and large parts of southern Germany and Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Bulgaria. Budapest, Novi Sad, Bratislava and Vienna are covered for flash floods (pluvial floods), with the option to extend these as required. Flood forecasting considering climate change is a challenge both at the basin and a local (e.g. Urban) level.

Developed solutions

The Future Danube Model represents a state-of-the-art catastrophe model that is compliant with insurance industry standards as well as best practices from the climate and hydrological sciences. Uniquely, it uses scenarios to assess flood risk currently (2006-2035), the near future (2020-2049) and the far future (2070-2099). By doing so it takes account of the effects of climate change considering two alternative scenarios (moderate emission reductions and business as usual). As is customary in the insurance industry, it uses a stochastic weather generator to increase the number of extreme events to produce a synthetic meteorological event set of 10,000 years. They are produced for four climate models, four climate periods and two climate change scenarios, driving hazard models which in turn feed a probabilistic loss and damage model. In principle, this approach can be applied to other river basins in Europe with the same data sources (and outside Europe with slightly different sources). This would require a new model setup and calibration; both processes are semi-automated.

We have illuminated the black box of flood risk assessment, with transparent modelling approach, models validated with empirical data, methods published in peer review scientific journals, and quantification of uncertainty.

The model includes:

  • A fully OASIS LMF compliant multi-hazard and risk model suite for the Danube region (the Future Danube Model) for the insurance sector and beyond.
  • An exposure database, including losses from historic flooding events, data collected via the damage data collection and exposure data for the Danube region collected with the co-design partners.
  • A damage data collection tool for the structured acquisition of loss data after flood events. The tool is based on online questionnaires and collects detailed information from loss-affected people concerning damage to buildings, building characteristics, hazard impacts and many loss influencing factors.
  • A web-based open Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to visualise graphically analyse and overlay information produced by the Future Danube Model.

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