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Flooding is the most widely distributed of all natural hazards across Europe with floods from rivers, estuaries and the sea threatening many millions of people in Europe. Floods cause distress and damage wherever they happen and insurance company data show that the financial impact of flooding has increased significantly since 1990.

In April 2007, the Parliament and Council of the European Union agreed the wording on a new European Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks. The Integrated Project FLOODsite is listed as one of the European actions which support the Directive.

FLOODsite covers the physical, environmental, ecological and socio-economic aspects of floods from rivers, estuaries and the sea. It considers flood risk as a combination of hazard sources, pathways and the consequences of flooding on the “receptors” – people, property and the environment.

Flood risk management is a process which comprises pre-flood prevention, risk mitigation measures and preparedness, backed up by flood management actions during and after an event.

Floods often cross international borders and so must flood risk management research. Our research on these topics is being integrated through decision support technologies, uncertainty estimation and pilot applications for river, estuary and coastal sites in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

FLOODsite is active in stimulating the uptake of research advances through guidance for professionals, public information and educational material.

FLOODsite is an “Integrated Project” in the Global Change and Ecosystems priority of the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission. It commenced in 2004 and runs to 2009. The FLOODsite consortium includes 37 of Europe’s leading institutes and universities and the project involves managers, researchers and practitioners from a range of government, commercial and research organisations, specialising in aspects of flood risk management.

See Also