Themes and Measures

Theme 3: improve knowledge and co-operation

Knowledge regarding the likelihood of high water occurring and as a consequence, the likelihood of floods and damage, is a must. All relevant groups, such as policy makers and the general public, should be aware of flood-related issues. Stimulating transnational co-operation in this area is extremely important. Measures to be taken within the framework of theme 3 are also important for preventing or reducing damage. If people have knowledge of and are aware of the dangers, they can act accordingly. Projects which aim to prevent and reduce damage are eligible for funding. Projects under this theme will be attuned to the RIBAMOD concerted action where necessary.

Measure 3.1: development of models and development of spatial planning

Studies to develop the spatial planning instruments related to the reduction of high water and damage prevention is one of the main areas to be supported under this measure. This measure also facilitates (only in the Meuse area) the development of hydrological and hydraulic models in combination with a GIS, in order to establish the relationship between the high water level and the flooded area. Models to estimate the efficiency of measures related to high water on the river, the river bed and the hinterland can also be included. The model projects must have a generic character. In general, independent experts will assess the projects before approval by the Steering Committee.

Measure 3.2: promotion and realisation of good practice, e.g. enhancement of monitoring, warning and protection systems

One of the main elements of a programme for which transnationality is a major feature is the exchange of experience and best practice. The areas where such exchanges can be particularly important include the enhancement of monitoring, warning and protection systems. When it becomes clear that significant flooding will occur, the authorities and the public must be warned in order that they may take action which will reduce possible damage (temporary protections and evacuation). Instruments to facilitate flood forecasting, e.g. a weather radar, will be integrated into the programme.

This measure centres on five areas of activity:

  • better forecasting of hydro-meteorological processes;
  • improving exchange of data and information on these processes between the Member States and the local and regional authorities involved;
  • developing better public information systems adapted to the requirements of the public;
  • enhancing disaster relief systems;
  • communicating successful projects and approaches.

Measure 3.3: identification of sensitive areas, awareness raising and furthering know-how

Even though measures have already been taken with regard to high water, risks still remain. In order to prevent damage resulting from these risks, it is necessary to raise public awareness in endangered areas and improve knowledge of flooding.

The damage caused by floods differs depending on the character of the inundated zones. There is more damage, for example, in densely populated zones than in afforested or agricultural zones. It is therefore of the utmost importance to know the risk level in relevant areas. Risk sensitivity should be measured by the height of the water level, the value of the property, the loss of turnover for trade and industry, the cost of evacuation, as well as economic, financial and ecological damage. One way is to establish hazard maps as a basis for spatial planning related to the conservation of retention and overflow areas.

Hazard maps should also be produced for endangered areas, so the future use of these areas can be managed accordingly. When these maps are published, public awareness in endangered areas is raised and suitable precautions can be taken.

Theme 1: measures in the catchment area of the river
Theme 2: measures in the major bed of the rivers
Theme 3: improve knowledge and co-operation
Theme 4: technical assistance

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