Misleading risk assessment leads to Thames Water to pay £86m for overestimating flooding risks

Misleading risk assessment leads to Thames Water to pay £86m for overestimating flooding risks

Jun 12th, 2014

Thames Water, UK’s biggest water company reportedly misreported the number of properties at high risk of sewer flooding between 2005 and 2010 leading to recording more properties at higher risk than there was evidence to support. This lead to overestimating flooding risks.

overestimating flooding risks

High risk of sewer flooding

The company reportedly did reduce the risk of sewer flooding at the homes of a large number of its customers. It also reduced misreporting likely led to poorly targeted and inefficient mitigative allotments financed by its customers.

Misleading risk assessment leads to Thames Water to pay £86m for overestimating flooding risks

In this blog we have repeatedly discussed how oversimplified risk assessments may lead to liabilities, even if there is no intention of misreporting and this a very clear evidence of this phenomenon. Being overly safe is not anymore a “safe stance” for decision makers, as we pointed out in a 2012 blogpost.

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Category: Consequences, Crisis management, Mitigations, Probabilities, Probability Impact Graphs, Risk analysis, Risk management

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