• Position:Researcher


Laurens Bouwer worked as a senior researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies until February 2013. He now works for Deltares in Delft, and can be reached through "bouwer (at) deltares.nl". 

His work covers many aspects of global change, but in particular the relationship between climate change and water resources management. He studies the impact of climate variability and climate change on flood frequency and losses, adaptation strategies and insurance. 

Laurens was project leader for the project A9 “Financial arrangements for disaster losses under climate change” for the KVR programme, and acted as project manager for the FP7 RESPONSES project on climate policy mainstreaming in the EU. He further participated in the FP7 Conhaz project on disaster costs, and in the CCASPAR project on adaptation strategies in Flanders funded by IWT. He has further worked on many other research and consultancy projects, commissioned by national and international governments and organisations.

He is a Lead Author for the Third and Fifth Assessment Reports, and Contributing Author for the Special Report on Extremes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Academic training

  • 2006-2010: PhD Environmental Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (promotores: P. Vellinga and J.C.J.H. Aerts)
  • 1995-2001: Master’s degree Physical Geography, Vrije Universiteit 

Professional employment history

  • 2013-present: Senior advisor, Deltares, Delft
  • 2001-2013: Researcher, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit
  • 2000-2001: Trainee, Geoscience Research Group, Munich Reinsurance Company
  • 1999-2000: Assistant, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit 

Selected publications

Link to full publication list at IVM since 2001

Bouma, J.A., Biggs, T.W. & Bouwer, L.M. (in press). The downstream externalities of harvesting rainwater in semi-arid watersheds: an Indian case study. Agricultural Water Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2011.02.010 - pdf

Bouwer, L.M. & Botzen, W.J.W. (in press). How sensitive are US hurricane damages to climate? Comment on a paper by W.D. Nordhaus. Climate Change Economics.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S2010007811000188

Bouwer, L.M. (2011). Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010BAMS3092.1 - pdf

Ward, P.J., Beets, W., Bouwer, L.M., Aerts, J.C.J.H. & Renssen, H. (2010). Sensitivity of river discharge to ENSO. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(12), L12402. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GL043215

Bouwer, L.M., Bubeck, P. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2010). Changes in future flood risk due to climate and development in a Dutch polder area. Global Environmental Change, 20(3), 463-471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.04.002

Botzen, W.J.W., Bouwer, L.M. & Van den Bergh, J.C.J.M. (2010). Climate change and hailstorm damage: empirical evidence and implications for agriculture and insurance. Resource and Energy Economics, 32(3), 341-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.reseneeco.2009.10.004 - pdf 

Botzen, W.J.W., Van den Bergh, J.C.J.M. & Bouwer, L.M. (2010). Climate change and increased risk for the insurance sector: a global perspective and an assessment for the Netherlands. Natural Hazards, 52(3), 577-598. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11069-009-9404-1 - pdf

Bouwer, L.M., Bubeck, P., Wagtendonk, A.J. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2009). Inundation scenarios for flood damage evaluation in polder areas. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 9(6), 1995-2007. http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/9/1995/2009/ - pdf

Vermaat, J.E., & Bouwer, L.M. (2009). Less ice on the Baltic reduces the extent of hypoxic bottom waters and sedimentary phosphorus release. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 82(4), 689-691. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2009.02.027

Maaskant, B., Jonkman, S.N., & Bouwer, L.M. (2009). Future risk of flooding: an analysis of changes in potential loss of life in South Holland (The Netherlands). Environmental Science and Policy, 12(2), 157-169. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2008.11.004

Bouwer, L.M., Biggs, T.W. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2008). Estimates of spatial variation in evaporation using satellite-derived surface temperature and a water balance model. Hydrological Processes, 22(5), 670-682. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.6636

Olsthoorn, X., Van der Werff, P., Bouwer, L.M. & Huitema, D. (2008). Neo-Atlantis: The Netherlands under a five-metre sea level rise. Climatic Change, 91(1-2), 103-122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-008-9423-z

Bouwer, L.M., Vermaat, J.E. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2008). Regional sensitivities of mean and peak river discharge to climate variability in Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 113, D19103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JD010301

Bouwer, L.M., Crompton, R.P., Faust, E., Höppe, P. & Pielke, Jr., R.A. (2007). Confronting disaster losses. Science, 318, 753. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1149628

Bouwer, L.M. & Vellinga, P. (2007). On the flood risk in The Netherlands. Chapter 24 in: Begum, S., Stive, M.J.F. & Hall, J.W. (eds.). Flood Risk Management in Europe: Innovation in Policy and Practice. Springer, Berlin, 469-484. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4200-3_24

Warner, K., Bouwer, L.M. & Ammann, W. (2007). Financial services and disaster risk finance: examples from the community level. Environmental Hazards, 7(1), 32-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envhaz.2007.04.006

Aerts, J.C.J.H., Renssen, H., Ward, P.J., de Moel, H., Odada, E., Bouwer, L.M. & Goosse, H. (2006). Sensitivity of global river discharges under Holocene and future climate conditions. Geophysical Research Letters, 33(19), L19401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006GL027493

Bouwer, L.M. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2006). How can we maximize the impact of adaptation measures to support sustainable development? Natural Resources Forum, 30(4), 328-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-8947.2006.00117.x

Bouwer, L.M., Aerts, J.C.J.H., Droogers, P. & Dolman, A.J. (2006). Detecting the long-term impacts from climate variability and increasing water consumption on runoff in the Krishna river basin (India). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 10(5), 703-713. http://direct.sref.org/1607-7938/hess/2006-10-703

Bouwer, L.M., Vermaat, J.E. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2006). Winter atmospheric circulation and river discharge in northwest Europe. Geophysical Research Letters, 33(6), L06403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2005GL025548

Bouwer, L.M. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2006). Financing climate change adaptation. Disasters, 30(1), 49-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9523.2006.00306.x

Pielke, R.A., Jr., Agrawala, S., Bouwer, L.M., Burton, I., Changnon, S., Glantz, M.H., Hooke, W.H., Klein, R.J.T., Kunkel, K., Mileti, D., Sarewitz, D., Tompkins, E.L., Stehr, N. & Von Storch, H. (2005). Clarifying the attribution of recent disaster losses: a response to Epstein and McCarthy. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86(10), 1481-1483. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-86-10-1481

Bouwer, L.M. & Vellinga, P. (2005). Some rationales for risk sharing and financing adaptation. Water Science and Technology, 51, 89-95. http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/05105/wst051050089.htm

Hoff, H., Warner, K. & Bouwer, L.M. (2005). The role of financial services in climate adaptation in developing countries. Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, 74, 196-207. http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/43456/v_05_2_7.pdf

Bouwer, L.M., Dorland, K., Aerts, J.C.J.H. & Gupta, J. (2004). Adaptation and funding in climate change policies. Chapter 7. In Kok, M.T.J. & De Coninck, H.C. (Eds.) Beyond Climate: Options for Broadening Climate Policy. RIVM report 500019001/2004, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 173-199.

Bouwer, L.M. & Vellinga, P. (2002). Changing climate and increasing costs: implications for liability and insurance. In: Beniston, M. (Ed.). Climatic Change: Implications for the Hydrological Cycle and for Water Management. (429-444). Dordrecht: Kluwer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47983-4_21

Houtgast, R.F., Van Balen, R.T, Bouwer, L.M., Brand, G.B.M. & Brijker, J.M. (2002). Late Quaternary activity of the Feldbiss Fault Zone, Roer Valley Rift System, the Netherlands, based on displaced fluvial terrace fragments. Tectonophysics, 352(3-4), 295-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0040-1951(02)00219-6

Prins, M.A., Bouwer, L.M., Beets, C.J., Troelstra, S.R., Weltje, G.J., Kruk, R.W., Kuijpers, A.& Vroon, P.Z. (2002). Ocean circulation and iceberg discharge in the glacial North Atlantic: inferences from unmixing of sediment size distributions. Geology, 30(6), 555-558. http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(2002)030<0555:OCAIDI>2.0.CO;2

Vellinga, P., Mills, E., Berz, G., Bouwer, L.M., Huq, S., Kozak, L.A., Palutikof, J., Schanzenbächer, B., Benson, C., Bruce, J., Frerks, G., Huyck, P., Kovacs, P., Olsthoorn, X., Peara, A., Shida, S. & Dlugolecki, A. (2001). Insurance and other financial services. Chapter 8, in McCarthy, J.J., O.F. Canziani, N.A. Leary, D.J. Dokken, and K.S. White (Eds.), Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (pp. 417-450). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg2/321.htm

Book chapters, books

  • Bouwer, L.M., Aerts, J.C.J.H., Van de Coterlet, G.M., Van de Giessen, N., Gieske, A. & Manaerts, C. (2004). Evaluating downscaling methods for preparing Global Circulation Model (GCM) data for hydrological impact modelling. Chapter 2, in Aerts, J.C.J.H. & Droogers, P. (Eds.), Climate Change in Contrasting River Basins: Adaptation Strategies for Water, Food and Environment. (pp. 25-47). Wallingford, UK: Cabi Press.
  • Vermaat, J.E., Bouwer, L.M., Turner, R.K. & Salomons, W. (2005). Managing European Coasts: Past Present and Future. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 387 pp.
  • Bouwer, L.M., Back, S., Bendoricchio, G., Georgiou, S., Kannen, A., Kontogianni, A., Marquenie, J., Mee, L., Nunneri, C., O’Riordan, T., Salomons, W., Sarda, R., Skourtos, M., Tett, P., Timmerman, J., Turner, R.K., Vellinga, T., Voss, M. & Windhorst, W. (2005). Applications of Integrated Assessment. In Vermaat, J.E., Bouwer, L.M., Salomons, W. & Turner, R.K. (Eds.), Managing European Coasts: Past Present and Future. (379-387). Berlin: Springer Verlag.
  • Ledoux, L., Turner, R.K., Salomons, W., Bouwer, L.M. & Vermaat, J.E. (2005). ELOISE research and the implementation of EU policy in the coastal zone. In Vermaat, J.E., Bouwer, L.M., Salomons, W. & Turner, R.K. (Eds.) Managing European Coasts: Past Present and Future. (pp. 1-19). Berlin: Springer Verlag. 

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