Profile of the area and problem analysis
To which level the high water will rise depends on the division and absorption capacity of vegetation, the river bed, the landscape and the structure of water flows in the catchment area. By bringing economic and agricultural activities into the catchment areas, and building residential estates, roads and dykes, the absorption capacity becomes limited and the potential for damage is increased.
However, it should be made clear that the causes of high water levels are influenced by humans only to the extent that they are responsible for increasing potential damage by the way in which they use the catchment area. Within the catchment area, a distinction can be made between areas that are always flooded during high water conditions and areas that are only flooded during extreme high water conditions. The damage caused by high water levels can be divided into three categories:
Member States involved in the programme consider the battle against
flooding a main priority which must be dealt with through spatial
planning and water management. The way in which the Member States
implement these measures depends on the different physical,
geomorphological and hydraulic situation in their own part of the
rivers. Despite the different approaches, however, all measures focus on
the creation, restoration and preservation of (former) overflow
areas/retention basins and infiltration. In addition to measures that
are directly related to the reduction of high water levels, Member
States’ policies stress the importance of measures such as town and
infrastructure planning, furthering awareness, forecasting high water
levels and warning systems.
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