Transboundary Aspects of Water Safety (HSGR3.3)
Assessment of the state of the art of cross-border cooperation on water safety in the Rhine and Meuse catchments.
This study described the existing cross-border organisations dealing with water management issues at various governmental levels. We mainly looked at multilateral and bilateral institutions. At the multilateral governmental level the International Commission on the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) and International Meuse Commission (IMC) are the most important. The ICPR currently focuses on a broad range of themes, such as flood risk management, the improvement of the ecological and chemical quality, climate change and adaptation in the Rhine basin. The IMC deals mainly with water quantity and quality issues, but has recently started discussing climate change and adaptation in the Meuse basin as well. For both international river commissions, as well as for most bilateral collaboration platforms, the implementation of EU Directives on water quantity and quality aspects are currently a focal point, since the first planning cycle of the Floods Directive and the second of the Water Framework Directive are required to be completed in 2015.
In conclusion, there are many forums for international cooperation. Although the scope of issues being addressed within these forums is mostly broader than the Delta Programme’s sharp focus on flood issues, these existing collaboration forums offer ample opportunities for discussing the preferred Delta strategies with international parties. The appropriateness of a cross-border forum depends on the scale of the specific water (safety) issue at stake. The development of a strategy for discussing the preferred strategy with international partners could best be developed in the spirit of the approach taken in the Delta Programme, which is to say in close cooperation between both national government and the regions. This should be helpful in coordinating efforts and discussions within the various international forums. This multiscaling, across borders, contributes to both the most appropriate and efficient flood risk management approach and towards integrated and comprehensive adaptation strategies.