In this paper we applied the psychometric paradigm to validate a questionnaire that assesses the risk perception characteristics of flooding and water nuisance. The state-trait anxiety inventory was used as a bench mark to determine whether perceptions are related to anxiety characteristics. A focus group was used to further validate the questionnaire. Factor analyses of 49 questionnaires identified eight flooding factors (explained variance 74%) and three water nuisance factors (explained variance 62%). Internal consistencies of the obtained scales were moderate to high. Like in the perception of external safety risks, "dread" seems to be the most important concept binding different characteristics. Although dread towards both flooding and water nuisance is rather low, it seems more present in the latter case. Furthermore, the extent of dread for water nuisance seems related to someone's state anxiety. In both cases awareness of "increasing risks" is clearly present, and we find the characteristics "(no) dread", "(un)controllable situation" and "does not affect me" to be related.