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NDSU researchers examine socioeconomic impacts of flood forecasts

Posted on 8/10/2017

NDSU researchers recently received a NASA supplemental grant to study how satellite-aided flood forecasts impact economic factors in the Red River Valley.

The research will be directed by Siew Hoon Lim, associate professor of economics. Y. Gurt Ge, assistant professor of emergency management, is the co-principal investigator.

The three-year $250,000 grant will fund a research project titled "Socioeconomic Impacts of the Satellite Enhanced Snowmelt Flood Predictions in the Red River of the North Basin."

The research is funded through a supplemental grant to a prime project, "Satellite Enhanced Snowmelt Flood Predictions in the Red River of the North Basin", led by Jennifer Jacobs, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire. A co-principal investigator for the prime project is Xinhua Jia, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at NDSU, who is leading the local snow and snow equivalent water sample collection and analysis.

"Economic benefits and broader societal impacts from improved flood forecasts are the primary driver of this satellite enhanced snowmelt flood prediction application," said Lim. "Two surveys will be taken with randomly selected households and farmers in the Red River Basin to analyze respondents' attitudes to current and enhanced flood forecast products, determine the use of the forecasts and elicit their willingness to pay as a proxy of the economic value of the forecast products."

"Social impacts of improved flood forecasts will be measured by questions about their change of willingness to pay for building or land elevation, water-proof material installation, construction retrofitting for flood mitigation and flood insurance purchase," said Ge. "We also will examine the perceived improvement of the forecasts to the local flood warning system and the perceived flood risk reduction."

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