ETC/ICM Report 2/2013: Historic flood events in Europe: European case studies based on the reporting under the Floods directive

24 Jun 2014

Nils Hettich

The purpose of this ETC/ICM Technical Report is to support the discussion on the practices of reporting for the preliminary flood risk assessment (PFRA). The focus is on the economic and environmental impacts of flooding. This review only includes a subset of the reported past flood events. By consequence the conclusions are preliminary and the cases presented have to be seen as examples only. 
The different Member States have gone through a similar process of collating and reporting relevant information. The absence of a common set of criteria is a potential reason for differences. Also the availability, and ease of access to, reliable information may have had an effect. It is important that there is a clear link between the information collected and its utility to help reaching more informed decisions. 
In order to help achieving an overview of flood impacts at EU level, the main issues to be considered are: revised guidance on the use of the categories of environmental and economic impacts, and revised guidance on the criteria to classify floods as 'significant'. 
In order to support the use of the PFRA reporting as a basis for a European Flood Impact Database, the main issues to be considered are: the availability of already existing databases, better understanding of how to quantify economic and environmental impacts, and a better understanding of flooding as a probabilistic phenomenon. 

Prepared by:  ETC/ICM members Thomas Kjeldsen (NERC-CEH) and Henk Wolters (Deltares) with Wouter Vanneuville (EEA) 

Published by: ETC/ICM, June 2014, 25 pp.