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The research on floods supported by the European Commission up to date. 2nd EAST-WEST Innovation Forum Floods: Danger, Strategies, Solutions 5-6 June 2003, Warsaw, Poland Panagiotis Balabanis DG Research [email protected] Three decades of EU flood related research.

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The research on floods supported by the European Commission up to date

2nd EAST-WEST Innovation Forum

Floods: Danger, Strategies, Solutions

5-6 June 2003, Warsaw, Poland

Panagiotis Balabanis

DG Research

[email protected]

three decades of eu flood related research
Three decades of EU flood related research
  • Flooding was a major component of successive EU environmental research programmes
  • Earlier programmes were focussed on understanding the causes of natural disasters and the development of protection methods
  • Recent programmes (FP4,FP5 and FP6) give more and more emphasis on integrated approaches for flood management within the context of sustainability
ec supported flood research projects
EC supported flood research projects
  • FP2 - 6 projects
  • FP3 - 12 projects
  • FP4 - 22 projects
  • FP5 - 18 projects
  • Other (IC) - 4 projects
  • EC Funding over €58 Million
ribamod principles 1997
RIBAMOD Principles (1997)
  • Pre-flood preparedness
    • risk mapping and reduction
    • spatial planning
    • flood defence infrastructure
    • contingency planning
  • Operational flood management
    • warning and emergency response
  • Post-flood recovery
    • relief, review, regeneration
ribamod conclusions
RIBAMOD Conclusions
  • Involvement of the public as well as politicians and professionals in the sustainable development of river basins.
  • Need a catchment view of flood defence activities, integrated with environmental effects rather than a collection of unconnected, individual measures
  • Need to understand the effects of environmental change on flood risk
ribamod conclusions1
RIBAMOD Conclusions
  • Need multidisciplinary working between
    • meteorologists and hydrologists to improve flood forecasting and
    • between engineers, planners and ecologists for the design of flood defences
  • Risk is the framework for managing and communicating the effects of flooding.
  • Incorporate “human” factors in flood defence planning – how to present information to achieve the desired action.
  • Integrated catchment modelling
  • Procedure for risk assessment
  • Procedure for environmental change
    • Land use and climate impact
  • Procedure for river engineering measures
  • Prototype Decision Support
  • Technology implemented in UK strategic flood defence planning - MDSF
advances in fp3 and fp4
Advances in FP3 and FP4
  • Radar precipitation and hydrology
  • Integration of data sources
  • Use of LAM in flood forecasting
  • Floods with debris (mountain areas)
  • Integrated catchment modelling
  • Flood risk assessment
    • Hazards, exposure and vulnerability
flood research in the context of fp5
Flood research in the context of FP5
  • Key Action “Sustainable Management and Quality of Water”
    • emphasis on flood forecasting and early warning systems
  • Key Action “Lobal Change, Climate and Biodiversity”
    • emphasis on major natural and technological hazards

Near real time flood forecasting, warning and management system based on satellite radar images, hydrological and hydraulic models and in-situ data.

Coordinator: Dr. Tore Guneriussen, NORUT, Tromsø, Norway

floodman objectives
FloodMan Objectives

The main objective of this project is to

develop, demonstrate and validate a

prototype information system for cost effective

near-real time flood forecasting, warning and management

using EO data,

in particular space borne Synthetic Aperture Radar data, hydrological and hydraulic models and in-situ data.



Real-time Flood Decision Support System Integrating Hydrological, Meteorological and Radar Technologies

Michael Butts

Water Resources Division

DHI Water & Environment

main objectives
Main Objectives

The FLOODRELIEF project aims

  • to develop and demonstrate a new generation of flood forecasting methodologies which will advance present capabilities and accuracies
  • to make the forecasting information and results more readily accessible both to flood managers and those threatened by floods.
Critical Assessment of available Radar Precipitation Estimation techniques and Development of Innovative approaches for Environmental Management
Project Objectives

CARPE DIEM aims to improve the quality of flood forecasting for small and medium size catchments developing an innovative methodology to exploit radar data (Doppler moment, reflectivity and polarisation information) in order to enhance rainfall estimation and prediction.

  • Improve the techniques for assimilation of radar data in NWP models, with emphasis on the forecasting of flooding events and on nowcasting.
  • Improve the quality of radar rain retrieving techniques.
  • Improve the quality of the rainfall field inputs to hydrological models.
  • Improve the useful lead-time and reliability of forecasted floods.

Microwave Attenuation as a New Tool for Improving Stormwater SupervisionAdministration

Professor Chris Collier, University of Salford, United Kingdom



  • To evaluate the applicability of microwave links as a tool for improved rain measurements in urban and rural catchments.
  • To improve the management of stormwater flows including flash floods in rural and urban catchments.

European Satellite Rainfall Analysis and Monitoring at the Geostationary

V. Levizzani, National Council of Research, Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Italy


What is the main purpose?

Develop new satellite rainfall estimation methods at the geostationary scale for an operational use in short and very short range weather monitoring and forecasting.

  • Who are the key target users?
  • The project is very much application-oriented and natural users are to be found among:
  • National and regional met services,
  • Basin authorities,
  • International agencies (WMO, FAO, …),
  • National and international space agencies,
  • National agencies for civil and environmental protection,
  • Institutions for the protection against hydrogeological risks,
  • Air traffic control centers,
  • Research institutions,
  • Industry, agriculture, …
music multi sensor precipitation measurements integration calibration and flood forecasting
MUSIC - Multi-sensor precipitation measurements integration, calibration and flood forecasting
  • Improving the reliability of rainfall estimation techniques based on radar and Meteosat, by combining them, in an objective and optimal way, with the traditional rain-gauge observations.
  • Communicate and disseminate results to the authorities involved in real-time flood forecasting and management
effs a european flood forecasting system
EFFS - A European Flood Forecasting System
  • To take advantage of currently available Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (4 - 10 days) to produce reliable flood warnings beyond the current flood warning period of approximately 3 days.
  • To design a Medium-Range Flood Forecasting System for Europe that will produce flood warnings on the basis of the Medium Range Weather Forecasts.
  • To produce flood forecasts in regions where at present no flood forecasts are made on the basis of the newly developed system.

Mitigation of Climate Induced Natural Hazards

Paul Samuels, HR Wallingford Ltd, United Kingdom



  • To provide a forum for discussion and debate.
  • To assist hazard planning and management by disseminating start-of-the-art research.
  • To match end user needs with research community capability.
  • To seek implementation pathways for research results.

The MITCH Workshops (http://www.mitch-

  • 'Floods, Droughts and Landslides - Management in a Changing Climate, December 2001
  • Advances in Flood Forecasting, Flood Warning & Emergency Management, June 2002
  • Floods, Droughts and Landslides - Who Plans, Who Pays? November 2002
actif achieving technological innovation in flood forecasting
ACTIF - Achieving Technological Innovation in Flood Forecasting
  • To actively consolidate and disseminate FP5 research advances in flood forecasting
  • To derive and disseminate additional benefits from these projects to facilitate the implementation of technological innovations already achieved in the research.
    • Convening of two scientific workshops and promotion of an international conference
    • Preparation of Guidelines of best European Practice in three aspects of flood forecasting technology
    • Preparation of guidelines on the access to high quality, site specific, data for further research and analysis
ecoflood towards natural flood reduction strategies
ECOFLOOD -Towards Natural Flood Reduction Strategies
  • The ECOFLOOD accompanying measure will support a series of workshops and a conference to reduce the gap between the research community and the stakeholders and to elaborate a manual for stimulating the idea of natural floods defence strategies
    • International Conference, Warsaw, 6-13 September 2003 (
conclusions 1
  • Past and ongoing research activities provide important insights for the sustainable management of floods
  • It will never be possible to guarantee absolute safety and therefore a change of paradigm towards non-structural flood protection measures, such as floodplain management, flood forecasting and warning systems, risk assessment, economic instruments, awareness raising and improving information is needed
conclusions 2
  • Flash-floods have been significantly less studied than floods occurring in basins larger than 500 km2
  • Implications of climate variability and climate change have not been fully considered in current water policy and decision-making frameworks and need to receive proper attention
  • Dissemination of research results to end users and the establishment of closer links between researchers and operational agencies is of paramount importance
conclusions 3
  • A more concerted EU research action is needed to integrate various fragmented activities in the field of flood risk assessment at catchment and regional scale, in the context of climate change and variability, land-use change, urbanisation and population growth, making use of recent technological advances (radar, satellite, modeling etc.) and improving the opportunities of floodplain management to manage the variability of extreme events