The value of citizen science for flood risk reduction: cost–benefit analysis of a citizen observatory in the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment
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As part of the flood risk management strategy of the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment (Italy), a citizen observatory for flood risk management is currently being implemented. Citizens are involved through monitoring water levels and obstructions and providing other relevant information through mobile apps, where the data are assimilated with other sensor data in a hydrological–hydraulic model used in early warning. A cost–benefit analysis of the citizen observatory was undertaken to demonstrate the value of this approach in monetary terms. The results showed a reduction in avoided damage of 45 % compared to a business as usual scenario. Thus, linking citizen science and citizen observatories with hydrological modelling to raise awareness of flood hazards and to facilitate two-way communication between citizens and local authorities has great potential in reducing future flood risk in the Brenta-Bacchiglione catchment. 

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Audience: Researchers & Academics Policy & Decision Makers
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Year of publication: 2020
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