Understanding the impact of climate change on debris-flow risk in a managed torrent: expected future damage versus maintenance costs

Juan Antonio Ballesteros Canovas, Markus Stoffel, Klaus Schraml, Christophe Corona, Andreas Gobiet, Satyanarayana Tani, Sven Fuchs, Franz Sinabell and Roland Kaitina

In this communication, we evaluate the role of maintenance costs of hydraulic infrastructures in the risk analysis of torrential channels under the impact of process and/or climate changes. We combine stochastic life-cycle analysis (LCA), debris-flow modelling and risk assessments to understand the cumulative effects of extreme debris-flow events and potential progressive degradation of infrastructure on mitigation structures. We compare two scenarios to assess the reliability of check dams in reducing debris flow risks, with a focus on their performance and maintainability. We detect that maintenance works will play an important role in the next decades to maintain the reliability of infrastructure at a high level of confidence, which will however result in high economic costs.

2016/1 454-460