International Flood Risk Management Plan

Foundation stone for a sustainable, systematic cross-border continuation of the flood risk management

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The countries located in the Elbe river basin agreed to prepare an “International Flood Risk Management Plan for the Elbe River Basin District” (hereinafter referred to as “International Plan”). This plan consists of the jointly prepared part A with summary information for the international level and the national parts B prepared by the individual states. The International Commission for the Protection of the Elbe River (ICPER) was assigned the coordination of this plan.

Part A of the International Plan contains the measures in Germany and in the Czech Republic for which common solutions are needed in some parts. Where required, Polish and Austrian aspects will also be taken into consideration, when the target is to describe the uniform or coordinated approach in the international Elbe river basin district. This plan constitutes the consistent continuation of the "Elbe Flood Protection Action Plan" 2003 – 2011 by incorporating its objectives and activities and integrating them in the overall strategy of the flood risk management.

Part A mainly comprises measures that can have an effect for the complete river basin district. On the one hand, these are measures on a regional level with supra-regional effect in the river basin district. On the other hand, there are measures, among them many non-structural measures, that due to their character need to be implemented for the complete river basin district in order to achieve the desired effect. This mainly includes flood forecasting, warning and information systems. Germany and the Czech Republic have developed an efficient communication and information system which has already proved its worth in cases of concrete cross-border emergency response, mainly during the floods in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

This International Plan does not only constitute the complete implementation of the European Directive on the Assessment and Management of Flood Risks, it also demonstrates the shared understanding and approach for tackling flood risks in the international Elbe river basin district. It has a particular added value because it helps to review the efficiency of the measures elaborated together in the past, particularly for managing the floods in recent years. In this regard the plan is a living document that has already turned out to be highly relevant. At the same time it lays the foundation stone for a sustainable, systematic cross-border continuation of the flood risk management for the coming decades.