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The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme


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Legislative Drivers & Sectoral Plan Review of TIDE Estuaries

2d. Flood Risk Management Directive (2007/60/EC)

Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks entered into force on 26 November 2007. Its aim is to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity by ensuring that flood risk from all sources is assessed and managed in a consistent way. This Directive requires Member States to assess if all water courses and coast lines are at risk from flooding, to map the flood extent and assets and humans at risk in these areas and to take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk. The Directive needs to be implemented in co-ordination with the Water Framework Directive, notably by aligning flood risk management plans with river basin management plans, and by consulting with the public on the content of flood risk management plans. All assessments, maps and plans must be made available to the public and the active involvement of interested parties in the preparation of flood risk management plans must be encouraged. One major aim is to enhance the risk awareness of the public.

The Directive requires Member States to first carry out a preliminary assessment by 2011 to identify the river basins and associated coastal areas at risk of flooding (Article 4). For such zones they would then need to draw up flood hazard maps and flood risk maps by 2013 (Article 6) and establish flood risk management plans focused on prevention, protection and preparedness by 2015 (Article 7). The Directive applies to inland waters as well as all coastal waters across the whole territory of the EU.

The Flood Risk Management Directive (FRMD) is being transposed into national law for the four estuaries by:
TIDE Estuary National/Federal Implementation
Humber (England) Flood Risk Regulations 2009
Elbe & Weser (Germany) Federal Water Act  (Wasserhaushaltsgesetz (BGBl. I S. 2585)) from 31 July 2009, last amendment 24 February 2012 (BGBl. I S. 212).
Scheldt (The Netherlands) Water Act (2009)
Scheldt (Belgium) Adaptation of the Decree on Integrated Water policy (July 2010)


The operational implementation of the Flood Risk Management Framework Directive within each of the four TIDE estuaries is shown on four schematic frameworks (see Appendix 4a-e). The requirements of the FRMD have only just begun to be developed within each Member State.

UK - Humber

In the UK the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for implementing the FRMD, with technical support provided by the Floods Directive Technical Working Group with other guidance prepared by the Environment Agency.

At the river basin management level, the Environment Agency is the lead competent authority in the UK in as far as it will be responsible for providing guidance, contributing to quality assurance and making appraisals, maps and plans available to the European Commission. The Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA), which are usually the local authorities/councils, are also competent authorities for the purpose of the Directive.

At the estuary level, stakeholder groups have been established to enable the sharing of information for the development of the flood risk maps and plans. The Environment Agency and the LLFA will liaise with the stakeholder groups around the Humber Estuary in the preparation of Flood Risk Maps, Flood Hazard Maps and in the Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy. The existing Humber Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) which sets out the long term, sustainable strategy for coastal defence within the Humber Estuary and the Humber Coastal Habitats Management Plan (CHaMP), which provides a framework for accounting for and predicting the potential losses and gains to habitats and species from coastal squeeze will both input into the new Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Figure 1c shows the flood map for the Humber with areas which could be affected by flooding from rivers and the sea (Environment Agency, 2012). It also shows flood defences and the areas that benefit from them. Flood Zone 3 is the Environment Agency’s best estimate of the areas of land with a 100 to 1 (or greater) chance of flooding each year from rivers or with a 200 to 1 chance (or greater) of flooding from the sea. Flood Zone 2 is the Agency’s best estimate of the areas of land between Zone 3 and the extent of the flood from rivers or the sea with a 1000 to 1 chance of flooding in any year. It includes those areas defined in Flood Zone 3.

Germany – Elbe & Weser

In Germany, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) has taken the lead in implementing the directive. Technical support has been provided by the German working group LAWA with ad-hoc committee advice from flood water and hydrology. The two German estuaries each have their own implementation groups.

The FGG Elbe is the coordinating group which consists of the national water management administrations of the 10 federal states in the catchment area of the Elbe river basin, and who will develop the National Elbe Flood Risk Management Plan. As the Elbe has an international catchment area, an International Flood Risk Management Plan might also be developed by the International Commission for the Protection of the Elbe (ICPER). This group comprises water management administration representatives of the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and of the ten federal German states with jurisdiction over the Elbe. At the local level the LAWA federal coastal working group (subcommittee “Coast”) consisting of the five coastal federal water management administrations (Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) has taken over the coordination between the coastal interests. The KorTel (Coordination group Tidal River Elbe for the three federal states Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein) has the official responsibility for implementing the FRMD within the Elbe estuary. It is planned that they will liaise with the Tidal River Elbe Working Group (AG TES) to develop non-binding measures for the Elbe estuary to be included in the development of the flood risk maps and plans in a later state. The FGG Elbe will produce the National Elbe River Basin Flood Risk Management Plan.

FGG Weser is the coordinating group made up of the national water management administrations of the seven federal states within the Weser catchment area. This group will produce the National Weser River Basin Flood Risk Management Plan. Three bodies have the responsibility for implementing the FRMD within the Weser estuary. These are the Lower Saxony Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MU), the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defence and Nature Conservation Agency (NLWKN) and the Senator for Environment and City Development – Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (SUBV). Together it is assumed they will work closely with regional and local stakeholders with flood protection interests to develop non-binding measures for the Weser Estuary to feed into the development of the flood risk maps and plans.

The Netherlands & Flanders – Scheldt

In Flanders, The implementation of the Flood Risk Management Directive has been realised by an adaptation of the Decree on Integrated Water Policy. The required flood risk maps will be part of the river basin management plans and the required measure will be part of the measure programs of the river basin and catchment management plans.

In The Netherlands, the FRMD is implemented for four different River Basins (the Rhine, Meuse, Ems and Scheldt). The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment has taken the lead in implementing the directive and producing the Flood Risk Management Plan, including the flood hazard and flood risk maps. This plan exists of 4 national parts (one plan per river basin) and a covering international part. Input is provided by Rijkswaterstaat, Provinces, Water boards and the so-called safety regions. The national parts are already delivered. The international part is still being discussed by an intergovernmental body for sustainable management of the Scheldt River: the International Scheldt Commission. This discussion has recently started. The FRMP will be ready for public inspection by November 2014 and will be made final in December 2015.


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