Nov 18, 2016

The Costs of Doing Nothing: A Sea Level Rise Synopsis for the Hampton Roads Region

George Van Houtven, Brooks Depro, Daniel Lapidus, Justine Allpress, Benjamin Lord
Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at William & Mary Law School
  • Finds that if no protective efforts are made, sea level rise will substantially increase the expected cost of coastal flood damages to the region's homes in any given year from $12 million with no sea level rise to about $50 million with a sea level rise of .5 meters (by the year 2040) and over $100 million annually with a sea level rise of .75 meters (by the year 2060)
  • Estimates the impact from a 100-year storm event under different sea level rise conditions
    • With no sea level rise, such an event would reduce total household income in the region by an estimated $611 million in the year of the storm, which translates to an average of roughly $940 in lost income per household
    • With sea level rise of 0.5 meters (by the year 2040), it would decrease total household income by about $1.1 billion, or an average loss of $1,760 per household in the region
    • If sea level rises by 0.75 meters (by the year 2060), the researchers anticipate that household income in the region would fall by $2.2 billion, or roughly the loss of $3,370 per household