Review Article: Economic evaluation of flood damage to agriculture – review and analysis of existing methods
In Europe, economic evaluation of flood management projects is increasingly used to help decision making. At the same time, the management of flood risk is shifting towards new concepts such as giving more room to water by restoring floodplains. Agricultural areas are particularly targeted by projects following those concepts since they are frequently located in floodplain areas and since the potential damage to such areas is expected to be lower than to cities or industries for example. Additional or avoided damage to agriculture may have a major influence on decisions concerning these projects and the economic evaluation of flood damage to agriculture is thus an issue that needs to be tackled.
The question of flood damage to agriculture can be addressed in different ways. This paper reviews and analyzes existing studies which have developed or used damage functions for agriculture in the framework of an economic appraisal of flood management projects. A conceptual framework of damage categories is proposed for the agricultural sector. The damage categories were used to structure the review. Then, a total of 42 studies are described, with a detailed review of 26 of them, based on the following criteria: types of damage considered, the influential flood parameters chosen, and monetized damage indicators used. The main recommendations resulting from this review are that even if existing methods have already focused on damage to crops, still some improvement is needed for crop damage functions. There is also a need to develop damage functions for other agricultural damage categories, including farm buildings and their contents. Finally, to cover all possible agricultural damage, and in particular loss of activity, a farm scale approach needs to be used.