Natural Flood Management (NFM) is an approach that seeks to work with natural processes to enhance the flood regulating capacity of a catchment, whilst delivering a wide range of ecosystem services, from pollution assimilation to habitat creation and carbon storage. This chapter describes a tiered approach to NFM, commencing with strategic modelling to identify a range of NFM opportunities (tree-planting, distributed runoff attenuation features, and soil structure improvements), and their potential benefits, before engagement with catchment partners, and prioritisation of areas for more detailed hydrological modelling and uncertainty analysis. NFM measures pose some fundamental challenges in modelling their contribution to flood risk management because they are often highly distributed, can influence multiple catchment processes, and evidence for their effectiveness at the large scale is uncertain. This demands we model the ‘upstream’ in more detail so that we can assess the effectiveness of many small-scale changes at the large-scale. We demonstrate an approach to address these challenges employing the fast, high resolution, fully-distributed inundation model JFLOW, and visualisation of potential benefits in map form. These are used to engage catchment managers who can prioritise areas for potential deployment of NFM measures, where more detailed modelling may be targeted. We then demonstrate a framework applying the semi-distributed Dynamic TOPMODEL in which uncertainty plays an integral role in the decision-making process.
Part of the book: Flood Risk Management