Deltares: Guidance on Floodrisk and Levee Management Announced

Guidance on Floodrisk and Levee Management Announced

Floods are considered the major natural hazard in the EU in terms of risk to people and assets. The most recent extensive springtime flooding in Central Europe seriously affected several German states and Czech regions and caused localised problems in 7 other countries in Europe.

Catastrophic events such as hurricane Sandy in the USA (2012) and the flooding in Pakistan (2010) among others have demonstrated that this is a global problem. International collaboration can help share best practice on floodrisk management and issues such as levee failure to mitigate against these events more effectively.

Currently, more than 40 bn € per year are spent on flood mitigation and recovery in the EU (incl. compensation of flood damage). More than 75 % of the damage caused by floods occurs in urban areas. Climate change and the concentration of population and assets in urban areas are set to increase these numbers in the near future. Furthermore, 80 % of the population will live in urban areas by 2020 and the economic values in these areas are constantly growing. This means that flood risk in urban areas will increase disproportionately: flood damage figures could rise to 100 bn € per year by the end of the century.

The European Union has recognized the threat of flood risk in Europe and in November 2007 the European Flood Directive 2007/60/EC was published. Its aim is to help reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. To support the implementation of the EU Flood Directive a number of research projects have been undertaken via the European research Framework Program FP7 including the 4-year FloodProBE-project that started in November 2009. FloodProBE has 14 partners drawn from 7 European Member States. This project focuses on the protection of critical infrastructure in the built environment and the performance of flood defences.

Further to this in 2008 several governments recognised the need to participate in a collaborative international project to produce a single, authoritative reference source on the design and management of levees, drawing on the skills found across Europe and USA. Over the past four years, numerous experts from many nations have collaborated to produce the International Levee Handbook (ILH).

The results of the FloodProBE-project, coordinated by Deltares (NL), and the CIRIA-coordinated ILH-project, provide comprehensive and definitive guidance to good practice in the evaluation of floodrisk for the built environment including critical infrastructure and protection measures and the design, implementation, maintenance and management of levees.

In October 2013 the international teams of experts working on flood protection of the built environment in the FloodProBE-project and on the International Levee Handbook are meeting in Aix en Provence to launch the results from both projects. The workshop is attended by key stakeholders from the USA, UK, France, The Netherlands and several other European countries to discuss the outcome and the implementation of this work into practice.

Today, the outcomes from these two initiatives will be presented at City Hall in Arles, France.


Press Release, October 3, 2013