Registered users can access the Handbook and Data here (you must log in first).
What is the Multi-Coloured Handbook (MCH)?
The Handbook is intended to be a stand-alone “Step-by-Step” guide to assessing the benefits of flood and coastal erosion risk management. When put together with the knowledge of the costs of the plans and schemes required, the user can assess the relationship between the benefits and costs of investment decisions. This comparison should enable the users to identify those risk management plans
and schemes which maximise the economic return to England and Wales, and therefore, represent “best value for money” by being economically efficient.
What does it contain?
- Methods for estimating damage to residential and non-residential property (NRP). [view sample]
- Updated residential and non-residential depth/damage data, including curves for saltwater flooding and wave damage. [view sample]
- Vehicle damages and evacuation costs.
- Property-level protection measures and flood-warning information.
- Methods for estimating direct and indirect flood losses to schools, hospitals, utilities and transportation networks. [view sample]
- Revised data for agricultural losses and recreational benefits;
- Updated database and the Handbook to 2017 prices.
- A series of tasters, including a local benefits/financial version of Handbook Chapter 5: Non-Residential Properties;
- An example for calculating average annual damages to agriculture;
- A guidance document on identifying and calculating National Receptor Dataset (NRD) code “9” properties in benefit appraisals;
- An Ex-Post Evaluation of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management projects;
- Updated archive of Project Appraisal Reports from the Environment Agency;
- An updated comprehensive bibliography of studies relating to flood and coastal erosion risk management.
- Work is ongoing with the Environment Agency to improve the dataset in the MCM Online in the areas of Recreation, Tourism and Health. This project is continuing and it is hoped that data will become available within this next licence period;
- In addition, we are working to provide the MCM data in a different format (CSV) rather than just as Excel spreadsheets. We believe this will help to link the MCM data more easily and efficiently into project appraisal software.
The Handbook aims to provide users with:
- Easy access to the techniques and information needed to undertake evaluations of the benefits for most straightforward risk management projects (probably 75% to 85% of all cases);
- A greater opportunity to align the scale of the appraisal effort with the scale and scope of the decisions required;
- Techniques that fully support sustainable development principles.
Importantly, the Handbook provides approaches to implement the policies set out in the HM Treasury ‘Green Book’ and complements the Flood and Coastal Erosion Management Appraisal Guidance (FCERM-AG), published by the Environment Agency in March 2010. It also complements Defra’s Making Space for Water principles and the Environment Agency’s increasing use of Multi-Criteria Analysis, as set out in its FCERM-AG advice.
‘The Handbook’ as an online resource
Taking user feedback on-board, the Multi-Coloured Handbook is now available online and replaces the printed 2010 publication. The advantages of having the handbook as an online resource are:
- Users can access the information from any computer, tablet or smart phone using their unique log in details once registered;
- Users can navigate directly to the relevant chapter and data without having to scroll through the whole document;
- The option to download the full PDF document and all the data (PDF and Excel) as required;
- Users will have access to the latest data, and any updates will be clearly highlighted.
The Handbook and the Manual
The Handbook is intended to be a straight-forward resource which will allow the user to carry out economic appraisal with minimum effort for the majority of flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes to be assessed. However, assessments are not always straightforward and therefore the Handbook is complemented by a much more extensive Manual, ‘Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management – A Manual for Economic Appraisal’, otherwise referred to as ‘The Multi-Coloured Manual’. This 2013 updated Manual replaces the 2005 version.