Nature-based solutions efficiency evaluation against natural hazards: modelling methods, advantages and limitations

Prashant Kumar*, Sisay E. Debele, Jeetendra Sahani, Nidhi Rawat, Belen Marti-Cardona, Silvia Maria Alfieri, Bidroha Basu, Arunima Sarkar Basu, Paul Bowyer, Nikos Charizopoulos, Glauco Gallotti, Juvonen Jaakko, Laura S. Leo, Michael Loupis, Massimo Menenti, Slobodan B. Mickovski, Seung-Jae Mun, Alejandro Gonzalez-Ollauri, Jan Pfeiffer, Francesco PillaJulius Proll, Martin Rutzinger, Marco Antonio Santo, Srikanta Sannigrahi, Cristos Spyrou, Heikki Tuomenvirta, Thomas Zieher

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Nature-based solutions (NBS) for hydro-meteorological risks (HMRs) reduction and management are becoming increasingly popular, but challenges such as the lack of well-recognised standard methodologies to evaluate their performance and upscale their implementation remain. We systematically evaluate the current state-of-the art on the models and tools that are utilised for the optimum allocation, design and efficiency evaluation of NBS for five HMRs (flooding, droughts, heatwaves, landslides, and storm surges and coastal erosion). We found that methods to assess the complex issue of NBS efficiency and cost-benefits analysis are still in the development stage and they have only been implemented through the methodologies developed for other purposes such as fluid dynamics models in micro and catchment scale contexts. Of the reviewed numerical models and tools MIKE-SHE, SWMM (for floods), ParFlow-TREES, ACRU, SIMGRO (for droughts), WRF, ENVI-met (for heatwaves), FUNWAVE-TVD, BROOK90 (for landslides), TELEMAC and ADCIRC (for storm surges) are more flexible to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of specific NBS such as wetlands, ponds, trees, parks, grass, green roof/walls, tree roots, vegetations, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasses, oyster reefs, sea salt marshes, sandy beaches and dunes. We conclude that the models and tools that are capable of assessing the multiple benefits, particularly the performance and cost-effectiveness of NBS for HMR reduction and management are not readily available. Thus, our synthesis of modelling methods can facilitate their selection that can maximise opportunities and refute the current political hesitation of NBS deployment compared with grey solutions for HMR management but also for the provision of a wide range of social and economic co-benefits. However, there is still a need for bespoke modelling tools that can holistically assess the various components of NBS from an HMR reduction and management perspective. Such tools can facilitate impact assessment modelling under different NBS scenarios to build a solid evidence base for upscaling and replicating the implementation of NBS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number147058
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume784
Early online date15 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • nature based solutions
  • natural hazards
  • modelling
  • eco-engineering
  • ground bio-engineering
  • erosion
  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • climate change

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