Damage Function


An example clarifies the use of the damage functions shown in the figure to the right:

A greenhouse area is inundated and the water depth is 1 meter. The total damage per square meter according to the greenhouse damage function of the figure to the right is calculated by:

Example of a Dutch damage function
  • multiplying the damage factor (based on water depth and land use)
  • and the asset value of the table below:
  • => 0.5 x 250 = 125 euro.



Damage Function in the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom

In the Netherlands, Germany and The United Kingdom damage functions are used more often than in Sweden and Norway. Nevertheless these countries don’t have a clear policy regarding the use of damage functions and therefore many methods and functions exist for the determination of damage caused by flooding.

The most common approaches for damage calculations in the UK are presented in the Multi Coloured Manual (MCM) prepared by the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University for Defra. The MCM gives comprehensive depth damage data for residential properties and to a lesser extent for commercial properties. The MCM also gives guidance on assessing emergency service costs, disruption to road and rail travel, values of changes in agricultural output.

Damage Function in Norway and Sweden

Norway and Sweden have a “bottom up” approach for flood risk assessment, which means that flood risk is dealt with at the local level of municipalities. In these countries, damage caused by inundation is mainly determined on the basis of real costs paid out by insurance companies or by municipalities. They don’t have widely used, national damage functions.







Landuse Value [Euro/m^2]
Urban area 1500,00
Greenhouse 250,00
Meadows 12,00
Agriculture 12,00

Asset value dependent on land use

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Flood risk mapping





Multi Coloured Manual (MCM)

Further Information


German experience in stage - damage curves