1Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK
2ECMWF, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Park, Reading, UK
3IRSTEA, Catchment Hydrology Research Group, UR HBAN, Antony, France
4Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, The Hague, the Netherlands
5Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
6International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, New York, USA
7Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
8UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands
9School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Received: 13 Jan 2016 – Discussion started: 19 Jan 2016
Abstract. Probabilistic hydro-meteorological forecasts have over the last decades been used more frequently to communicate forecast uncertainty. This uncertainty is twofold, as it constitutes both an added value and a challenge for the forecaster and the user of the forecasts. Many authors have demonstrated the added (economic) value of probabilistic over deterministic forecasts across the water sector (e.g. flood protection, hydroelectric power management and navigation). However, the richness of the information is also a source of challenges for operational uses, due partially to the difficulty in transforming the probability of occurrence of an event into a binary decision. This paper presents the results of a risk-based decision-making game on the topic of flood protection mitigation, called "How much are you prepared to pay for a forecast?". The game was played at several workshops in 2015, which were attended by operational forecasters and academics working in the field of hydro-meteorology. The aim of this game was to better understand the role of probabilistic forecasts in decision-making processes and their perceived value by decision-makers. Based on the participants' willingness-to-pay for a forecast, the results of the game show that the value (or the usefulness) of a forecast depends on several factors, including the way users perceive the quality of their forecasts and link it to the perception of their own performances as decision-makers.
Revised: 24 May 2016 – Accepted: 25 May 2016 – Published: 02 Aug 2016
Arnal, L., Ramos, M.-H., Coughlan de Perez, E., Cloke, H. L., Stephens, E., Wetterhall, F., van Andel, S. J., and Pappenberger, F.: Willingness-to-pay for a probabilistic flood forecast: a risk-based decision-making game, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3109-3128, doi:10.5194/hess-20-3109-2016, 2016.