The ICPDR Action Programme for Sustainable Flood Prevention is based on the sustainable flood protection programmes developed in the various Danube countries as well as on networking existing structures and using the future-oriented knowledge base accumulated through a wide range of activities over the past decade.
The overall goal of the Action Programme is to achieve a long term and sustainable approach for managing the risks of floods to protect human life and property, while encouraging conservation and improvement of water related ecosystems. Given the area, the complexity and the internal differences in the Danube River Basin, the Action Programme represents an overall framework, which needs to be specified in further detail for sub-basins.
The Action Programme is based on UN-ECE Guidelines on Sustainable Flood Prevention, EU Best Practices on Flood Prevention, Protection and Mitigation and on EU Communication on flood risk management, COM(2004)472. The major principles advocated are: (i) the shift from defensive action against hazards to management of the risk and living with floods (ii) the river basin approach taking into account the Water Framework Directive, (iii) joint action of government, municipalities and stakeholders towards flood risk management and awareness raising, (iv) reduction of flood risks via natural retention, structural flood protection and hazard reduction, and (v) solidarity.
Targets of the Action Programme are set on a basin-wide and a sub-basin level taking into account the above-mentioned principles. There are four major basin-wide targets, which are currently under implementation.
(i) Improvement of flood forecasting and early flood warning system
Interlinking of the national and/or regional systems aims to improve the overall coordination and transboundary coherence of flood monitoring and forecasting systems. A Danube Flood Alert System based on the LISFLOOD model has been developed by the EC JRC in Ispra
(ii) Support for the preparation of and coordination between sub-basin-wide flood action plans
The ICPDR is a coordination platform for preparation of flood action plans for the river sub-basins. Linking of flood risk management with the river basin management is one of the key goals of the ICPDR.
(iii) Creating forums for exchange of expert knowledge
Measures are being taken towards sharing of experience and coordinated development and promotion of best practices on flood risk management. A web-based info exchange platform has been developed on the internal area of the ICPDR website, providing thematic collection of information related to the targets of the ICPDR Action Programme on Sustainable Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin as well as the useful links to other relevant websites.
(iv) Recommendation for a common approach in assessment of flood-prone areas and evaluation of flood risk
Development of flood risk maps is one of key prerequisites to an efficient flood risk management and it is a key part of the EU Floods Directive. Risk maps provide essential information to the public but are also important tools for planning authorities and the insurance industry. The flood risk maps should increase public awareness of the areas at risk of flooding. They should provide information of areas at risk by defining flood risk zones to give input to spatial planning and should support the processes of prioritising, justifying and targeting investments in order to manage and reduce the risk to people, property and the environment.
Based on the provisions of the EU Floods Directive and using the EXCIMAP Guide of Good Practices for flood mapping in Europe the ICPDR developed and adopted the minimum recommendations for flood risk mapping in the Danube River Basin in 2007.
At present, within the EU Transboundary Cooperation, the Danube Flood Risk Mapping Project, “Floodrisk” has been launched with the aim to develop uniform flood risk maps for the Danube River defining flood hazards and vulnerability. The outcomes of the project will form the basis for targeting measures and reducing flood damage in the Danube Basin.
Achievements in the Danube River Basin
The ICPDR decided in 2007 that the progress in the implementation of the ICPDR Action Programme on Sustainable Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin should be regularly communicated to the public through a Report on Achievements in Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin. This Report was for the first time published by the end of 2008 and an updated version was published in 2010 (please see the document up-loaded below) and it provides the stakeholders and public with an overview of the achievements in implementation of the targets of the ICPDR Action Programme with a particular attention given to the progress made in the sub-basins in implementation of the action plans as well as of the EU Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks.
The Report on Achievements in Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin is structured according to the four basin-wide targets of the ICPDR Flood Action Programme and it is a living document, which will be updated regularly with a view of demonstrating to the wide target audience the efforts made and the progress achieved in the Danube River Basin in the field of flood risk management.
Flood Warning and Monitoring
The efforts of the ICPDR Contracting Parties focus on interlinking of the national and/or regional systems with the view of improving the overall coordination and transboundary coherence of flood monitoring and forecasting systems. A report providing an overview of the flood monitoring systems in the Danube River Basin was published in 2009 (please find the document attached below). The report reviews the climatic and hydrological conditions in the basin, food monitoring systems (both meteorological and hydrological monitoring network), development of the flood information service for the Danube river basin and the role of the European Flood Alert System.
In parallel to interlinking of national systems a Danube Flood Alert System (Danube-EFAS) was developed by the EC JRC as a part of the European Flood Alert System and was launched in December 2007. Danube-EFAS information is available through a password-protected website, 24 hours a day, through an online service managed by the JRC. The system currently includes 700 rainfall stations in the Danube Basin, with plans for an increase to around 3,000 stations. Information includes rainfall and flood forecasts throughout the river basin, and maps showing rivers potentially reaching critical alert levels for all Danube tributary rivers with upstream areas larger than 4,000 km2.
- 17 flood action plans for all sub-basins in the Danube catchment area were prepared in 2009. They provide the first comprehensive overview of actions aiming to reduce flood risks that was ever...
- In September 2007 a Directive of the European parliament and of the Council on the assessment and management of flood risks (EU Floods Directive, EFD) was adopted by the European Council. The aim of...
- Assessment of Flood Monitoring and Forecasting in the DRB (1.56 MB)
- Report on Achievements (12.35 MB)