An open access spatial catastrophe model for flood risk and impacts of land use, climate change and options for natural flood management

Access PSS here (V2.x scientist user level, free for non-commercial uses . Simply create an account )

Developers: King's College London (applications, data), AmbioTEK (software, data, models)

Audience: Insurers, re-insurers, risk assessors, catastrophe modellers, developers, planners, governments and other investors, environment and conservation NGOs, capital markets, rating agencies, regulators

Focus: EcoActuary is a testbed for the development and implementation of green and grey infrastructure investments focused on reducing the risk to insured assets of multi-hazard risks, including flooding and drought. It incorporates detailed spatial datasets at 1-square km and 1 hectare resolution for the entire world, spatial models for biophysical and socioeconomic processes along with scenarios for climate, land use and economic change. A series of investments can be implemented and their consequences traced through the socio-economic and biophysical systems. An actuary determines the probability (and financial consequences) of risks. They work with accountants, underwriters (and catastrophe modellers) to set insurance rates (premiums). The Eco:Actuary determines mitigation of risk by specific configurations of green infrastructure (GI) and by asset adaptation. It helps understand the asset value protected by GI, alongside other GI co-benefits (ecosystem services). The Eco:Actuary helps advise risk reduction, resilience to avoid losses.

Though we provide input data for application of this model anywhere globally (from remote sensing and other global sources) users can also use this model with their own datasets. Application with the provided datasets takes only half an hour and requires no GIS capacity. Bringing in your own datasets will take much longer depending on the availability, level of processing, format and consistency of those datasets and also requires GIS capacity.

Typical applications include: Scenario modelling of likely insured and uninsured losses for suites of assets to help define best portfolio of retained and transferred risk (risk finance optimisation). Identification of risks that existing and proposed developments are exposed to in the short and long term including understanding of impacts of new green infrastructure on risk patterns locally and downstream. Evaluation of different green infrastructure investments for EbA (Ecosystem based adaptation to climate change) and risk mitigation co-benefits of biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services investments. Assessment of global risk portfolios using consistent methods and data. Identification of concentration of risk and options for risk mitigation, diversification.

Don't need a spatial model? Interested in scoping NFM investment requirements? try the Eco:Actuary Investment Planner instead

Example applications Training videos | Need an expert to apply this tool for you

Eco:Actuary was developed with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730497 (NAIAD). It continues to be developed under contract number 101017857 (RESET)

EcoActuary introduction and training video:

Geographical coverage: global

Spatial resolution: 10 degree tiles, countries and major basins @ 1km resolution or 1 degree tiles @ 1-hectare resolution. Globally applicable, locally relevant. Also global 10km, continental 1km (not possible on public servers)

Temporal resolution: Baseline (1950-2000) and scenario

Development status:

Version 2: ongoing


The version 2 model covers flood risks


Model and data documentation can be found here and system (interface and functionality) documentation here. A presentation on the science behind the PSS can be found here (English) and here (Spanish) [opens in Google docs viewer]. Download: (EN, ES). A po werpoint demo of the system functionality is here (English) and here (Spanish) [opens in Google docs viewer]. Download: (EN, ES)

Key references:

Validation: EcoActuary outputs are being verified through application in case studies around Europe as part of the EU H2020 NAIAD project. We make the model easy to apply anywhere globally and expect our users to also verify and validate simulation outcomes in their own study sites. As model developers we cannot validate these models for every study site and application that users may have: it is thus the responsibility of those applying these models to validate them for their own application and study site. The FreeStation project can provide equipment designs to help with this.

Intellectual property: Please do not redistribute or publish on the internet any data or results from these systems in raw GIS form without prior permission from us as we need to ensure that our data provider's licenses are adhered to. If you intend to publish results from this system in the academic literature please send a draft of the paper to us before submission so that we can help ensure that the interpretation is appropriate. If you intend to use this system extensively to deliver the outputs of a funded research or consultancy project, please talk to us before submitting the bid or proposal. To contact us: click here.

Liability: King's College London and AmbioTEK CIC provide these systems without warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. We shall not be made liable for any consequential, incidental, indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages resulting from the use of this software.