Testing bottom-up methods to deal with uncertain sea level rise in municipalities


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm


Two Swedish municipalities (Danderyd and Gävle), Lund University, and FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency)

Problem Statement

How can coastal municipalities plan for protecting and exploiting low lying areas close to the sea given different outcomes of future sea level rise?

Case Study

In each municipality three workshops were held using a methodology inspired by Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) and Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP). The outcomes were evaluated by interviews.

During the first workshop, a focus question as well as performance criteria and non-desired events were defined and an area for analysis was selected.

During the second workshop, the acceptable return times for the non-desired events were decided upon, objects that may be harmed by sea water were pinpointed, their height above current sea level defined and the margin for future sea level rise given acceptable return times was calculated. Adaptation options were also defined for each object.

During the third workshop, dynamic adaptation pathways for the objects were discussed, prioritized and evaluated. Possibilities for including the methods and finding in current planning routines were discussed.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned

It is too early to say as the follow-up interviews have not been made yet. According to comments from the participants during the workshops, however, the bottom-up approach and the methods used were new and challenging although feasible with the help of e.g. consultants.

Relevant References

  • Australian Mekong Water Resources Program. (2011). Annual Program Report. AusAID.
  • CDRI. (2011). Improving the governance of water resources in Cambodia: A Stakeholder Analysis.
  • General Secretariat of National Council for Sustainable Development. (2015). CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN 2016-2018. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Royal Government of Cambodia: Ministry of Environment.
  • IWMI. (2013). Agricultural Water Management Planning in Cambodia.
  • IWMI. (2013). Local Institutions for Irrigated Agriculture in Cambodia.


Robust decision making, sea level, dynamic adaptation pathways


Sweden. Two coastal municipalities:
Danderyd and
Gävle. A third municipality to be added early 2018.


Officers from the municipalities representing planning, water and sewage management, environmental protection, emergency management, landscaping

About the Knowledge Platform

The Knowledge Platform is designed to promote and showcase an emerging set of approaches to water resources management that address climate change and other uncertainties — increasing the use of "bottom-up approaches" through building capacity towards implementation, informing relevant parties, engaging in discussion, and creating new networks. This is an ongoing project of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) funded by the World Bank Group.

Contact AGWA

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
7640 NW Hoodview Cir.
Corvallis, Oregon 97330

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