Adaptation to Meuse flood risk (HSGR06)

In 1993 and 1995 the Meuse overflowed its banks, leading to extensive flood damage in the Netherlands. Due to climate and land use change, the frequency of high-flows is expected to increase in the future. Furthermore, the potential damage of floods is expected to increase due to socioeconomic developments in flood-prone areas. Given the expected increases in flood probability and risk, the steering group IVM2 was set up to assess which adaptation measures would be needed after 2020 to ensure that the Meuse would comply with flood defence laws.                            

In Europe, the flood risk management approach gave an added impetus by the European Flood Directive of 2007. Flood risk assessment (where risk is defined as probability x damage) offered a framework for assessing the impacts of both physical and socioeconomic changes. However, the effectiveness of flood defence measures was only assessed in terms of their contribution to reducing flood probabilities. The damages associated with low probability flood events are high, and hence adaptation should also aim to reduce potential damage.

This study focused on analysing the flood risk of the river Meuse in relation to climate change, land use and socio-economic developments. The models that were further developed in the projects ACER and AVV were combined. The project contributed to the scientific discussion on this topic and also made a specific risk assessment for the Meuse.

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