The Maldives (land elevation approximately 1m above mean sea-level) is often associated with the threat of rising sea-levels. Land scarcity due to population pressure is also a major issue. In the late 1990s a new 1.9km^2 2m high artificial island, Hulhumalé was created for urban expansion, including an allowance for sea-level rise. This paper assesses flood exposure through an extreme water level scenario on Hulhumalé taking into account sea-level rise and analyses potential adaptation options to extend island life. Results indicate that overtopping is likely to occur with 0.6±0.2m of SLR, with more severe, widespread flooding with 0.9±0.2m of sea-level rise. If the Paris Agreement goals are met, flooding is not anticipated this century, but under a non-mitigation scenario, flooding could occur by the 2090s. Building seawalls 0.5m, 1.0m and 1.5m high could delay flooding for 0.2m, 0.4m and 0.6m of sea-level rise, respectively. Land raising has been successful in Hulhumalé in reducing flood risk simultaneous to addressing development needs. Whilst new land claim and raising can be cost-effective, raising developed land provides greater challenges, such as timeliness with respect to infrastructure design lives or financial costs. Thus the transferability and long-term benefits of land raising requires further consideration.
|Journal||Journal of Flood Risk Management|
|Early online date||9 Sep 2019|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2020|
- land claim
- sea-level rise