Large-scale flood risk assessment under different development strategies: the Luanhe River Basin in China

J. Zhao, H. Chen, Q. Liang, X. Xia, J. Xu, T. Hoey, B. Barrett, F.G. Renaud, L. Bosher, X. Zhou

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Increasing resilience to natural hazards and climate change is critical for achieving many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In recent decades, China has experienced rapid economic development and became the second-largest economy in the world. This rapid economic expansion has led to large-scale changes in terrestrial (e.g., land use and land cover changes), aquatic (e.g., construction of reservoirs and artificial wetlands) and marine (e.g., land reclamation) environments across the country. Together with climate change, these changes may significantly influence flood risk and, in turn, compromise SDG achievements. The Luanhe River Basin (LRB) is one of the most afforested basins in North China and has undergone significant urbanisation and land use change since the 1950s. However, basin-wide flood risk assessment under different development scenarios has not been considered, although this is critically important to inform policy-making to manage the synergies and trade-offs between the SDGs and support long-term sustainable development. Using mainly open data, this paper introduces a new framework for systematically assessing flood risk under different social and economic development scenarios. A series of model simulations are performed to investigate the flood risk under different land use change scenarios projected to 2030 to reflect different development strategies. The results are systematically analysed and compared with the baseline simulation based on the current land use and climate conditions. Further investigations are also provided to consider the impact of climate change and the construction of dams and reservoirs. The results potentially provide important guidance to inform future development strategies to maximise the synergies and minimise the trade-offs between various SDGs in LRB.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability Science
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2021


  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Flood risk
  • Climate change
  • Land use change
  • Hydrodynamic flood modelling
  • Open data


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