Terpstra, Teun Gutteling, Jan Kappe, Bert Geldof, Govert
Year of Publication:
45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In this paper we aim to gain insight in the determinants that control the risk perception of flooding and water nuisance by developing and validating a questionnaire. We also investigate to what extent the risk characteristics of external safety risks apply to perceptions of flooding and water nuisance. We use elements from the psychometric paradigm: risk perception characteristics and their interrelationships have been quantified by developing statements about flooding (38) and water nuisance (12), which were rated by respondents. The state-trait anxiety inventory was applied to determine whether perceptions are related to anxiety characteristics. A focus group session was organized to further explain our findings. Factor analyzing 49 questionnaires resulted in the identification of eight flooding factors (explained variance: 74%) and three water nuisance factors (explained variance: 62%). The internal consistency of the scales measured by Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.54 to 0.82. Like in the perception of external safety risks, 'dread' seems to be the most important concept binding different characteristics. Although dread towards both flooding and water nuisance is rather low, it seems more present in the latter case. We hypothesize cautiously that the extent of dread for water nuisance is also determined by the anxiety one experiences at that particular moment. In both cases awareness of 'increasing risks' is clearly present, and we find the characteristics '(no) dread', '(un)controllable situation' and 'does not affect me' to be related. Also the characteristic 'risk-benefit trade off' seems also to be related to 'no dread'.