Background and Goals
It is important for an economically, ecologically and socially balanced development to know the natural hazards in one's own region. The project promotes sustainable development by ascertaining the flood hazards for humans and property and by making the information available to the public
Again and again, citizens, municipalities, companies and their infrastructures are affected by severe flood events. In certain regions, these natural phenomena can occur more and more frequently and with increased severity, as an effect of the climate change. Yet flood events can only be contained to a limited extent. For this reason, the project mainly aims at providing information on the hazards and possible precautions. The improvement of the risk awareness and preparedness for such events is a particularly cost-effective contribution to flood risk management. This is achieved by means of three elements:
- Providing information, particularly through risk maps;
- Cooperation in the catchment areas, particularly through flood partnerships;
- Use of innovative technologies, such as a new flood emergency management including flood forecasts.
Since a future-oriented flood risk management was to be based on these elements, the project will concentrate on the following three components:
- Flood Hazard Mapping: In this package, information on flood hazards (flood-prone areas, flood depths, erosion) will be developed. The flood hazard maps can be used in developing precautionary measures for minimizing the possible damages.
- Flood Partnerships: These are intended to contribute to an increased flood awareness in the catchment area concerned. Citizens, businesses and industry, local and regional policy-makers as well as municipal and community administrations are encouraged to actively participate in the partnerships.
- Flood Management Systems: Flood management systems are specially-developed computer systems that allow municipal and community administrations to deal with flood events successfully. For example, flood alarm and response plans, as well as flood forecast functions, can be integrated into these systems and used appropriately.
Within the "Strategies and Actions for Flood Emergency Risk Management" project, the partners from Germany, Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland will develop innovative strategies to reduce and minimize fluvial and coastal flood damage. The basic aim it is thus to reduce the danger to human life posed by flooding and to minimize flood damage. The partner regions will develop a common approach to implementing these strategies for all regions. In the past, inadequate flood management has caused more and more problems due to insufficient information on hazards, isolated, regional activities and a complete lack of communication across boundaries. However, experience has shown that establishing early warning, emergency response, and decision support systems can successfully counteract such difficulties.
The main task of all partners in the next years is an effective implementation of the Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks (EU Floods Directive, effective since October 2007). The focus of the project is to create flood hazard maps for the project areas, and to perform a preliminary assessment of the flood risks on this basis. A continuous, close cooperation between the stakeholders in water management and spatial planning (urban and regional development) is a basic prerequisite for the success of the venture. This will make it possible to fulfil essential requirements of the EU Floods Directive in the partner regions, particularly the creation of flood hazard maps and the involvement of the public. The flood hazard maps, flood partnerships and the development of civil protection are the basis for the activities necessary for the implementation of the Floods Directive.
- Rhineland Palatinate
- Alp and North Bavarian hills
- Erz Mountains, Thuringian Forest and Bavarian Forest
- Low mountain ranges left and right of Rhine
- West German lowland bay
- Central low mountain ranges and Harz
Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change
Step 1: Understand and describe climate change
No climate scenario defined.
For the Neckar, future changes in precipitation patterns due to the climate change will only be taken into account for extreme events. The Scottish flood risk assessment will take the 200-year and 1000-year flood event probabilities into account. Future flood events may have higher water levels and a greater extent in each case, due to changed weather patterns and the sea level rise.
- River flooding
- Altered rainfall patterns
- Sea level rise und storm surges
- Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
Precipitation distribution (also extreme events), sea level rise, tidal ranges, wave climate, wind intensity, run-off
- short term = next year’s / decades
Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact
The climate change will lead to an increased flooding risk in most parts of Europe in the future. For this reason, the project will assess the consequences of flood events, which can occur more and more frequently and with greater severity in certain regions. To this end, floods caused by heavy rain (mountain rivers, such as in Switzerland), floods caused by overflowing (low gradient rivers) and flooding through storm surges (coastal areas, such as Dublin).
Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances
The issue of vulnerability to flooding is examined for particular regions or local communities; the adaptive capacity is not taken into account.
Urgency of adaptation measures and need for action is rated as high, since recent floods have already caused significant damage.
Step 3: Develop and compare measures
Objectives: To develop innovative strategies to reduce and minimize fluvial and coastal flood damage (both under today's conditions and taking the climate change into account). For this, information on flood hazards (flood-prone areas, flood depths, erosion) will be developed and presented. With the aid of the flood hazard maps, precautionary measures can be taken to minimize the possible damages (e.g., changes to the flood defence infrastructure).
The flood partnerships are intended to contribute to an increased flood awareness in the catchment area concerned. The improvement of the risk awareness and preparedness for flood events is judged to be a particularly cost-effective contribution to flood risk management.
Flood management systems allow municipal and community administrations to deal with flood events successfully, since, for example, flood alarm and response plans, as well as flood forecast functions, can be integrated into these systems.
- 2071–2100 (far future)
INTERREG IIIB-Programme - North West Europe (NWE) and European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD)
Regional Administrative Authority Stuttgart (RPS), unit 53.2, state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Dublin City Council (DCC), Ireland;
Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), Scotland;
Federal Office for Water and Geology (FOWG), Switzerland;
École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland;
Regional Council Stuttgart
Department of Water I. Order, flood protection