HydroClimateStrategyRiga - Integrated Strategy for Riga City to Adapt to the Hydrological Processes Intensified by Climate Change Phenomena

LIFE08 ENV/LV/000451

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Renārs GRINBERGS
Fax: +371 670 12922
Email: renars.grinbergs@riga.lv

Project description:


The Daugava River is some 500-700 m wide and 6-7 m deep as it flows through Riga. The water regime of the river is largely dependent on the operations of the Riga Hydropower plant. This is located around 30 km upstream from the mouth of the river in the Gulf of Riga; a fact that itself impacts on water levels. An increased frequency and severity of flash floods is becoming an alarming problem for the city of Riga. Such floods have caused widespread risks to built-up areas, infrastructure and natural areas, including Natura 2000 network sites. In 2008, Riga County Council (RCC) commissioned a hydro-dynamic modelling system to calculate flood risks and trends under different scenarios. The growing trend in floods is linked to climate change. In particular, storms are increasingly pushing water from the Gulf of Riga into the Daugava. There is a need for more integrated management planning in order to address the floods and their causes according to international, EU and national legislation. There is also a greater need for increased awareness of the relevant issues amongst the general public, local government specialists and politicians.


The main objective of the HydroClimateStrategyRiga project was to create the means necessary to ensure that hydrological processes intensified by climate change phenomena in Riga are adequately investigated and incorporated into the city’s planning system. This should mitigate the current and future impact of such floods on Riga’s economy, society, nature, biodiversity, water resources and human health. The project aimed to carry out detailed studies of the hydrological processes affecting Riga and their current and potential impacts. Workshops of specialists and local stakeholders were to feed into these findings, leading to the publication of a report. The beneficiary also hoped to learn about best practices in the identification, planning and management of flood risk zones in three European cities facing similar challenges: Rotterdam (the Netherlands); Antwerp (Belgium); and Hamburg (Germany). The project aimed to define flood-protection priorities for each of the six flood-risk zones around the city and for the city as a whole. Possible measures and activities were to be evaluated, and their cost-effectiveness assessed, leading to the creation of a Flood Risk Management Plan for Riga City. The plan should recommend protection measures and any necessary changes to the city’s planning documents. Publicity and awareness-raising measures around flood risks and management were to include a website, printed publications, events and media work. Specific targeted workshops aimed to feed stakeholder opinions into the project planning.


All of the HydroClimateStrategyRiga project activities were successfully implemented and the expected project results and objectives fully reached. The most significant of these were:

  • The detailed analysis and assessment of the existing situation and future flooding trends for Riga. These were published in a comprehensive report on hydrological processes affecting the territory of Riga City and their current and potential impacts;
  • Development of a Flood Risk Management Plan for Riga. The plan includes specific flood risk prevention measures and considers different options to attract funding for risk prevention measures;
  • A collection of best practices and approaches in the identification, planning and management of flood risk zones in four European cities: Riga (Latvia); Rotterdam (the Netherlands); Antwerp (Belgium); and Hamburg (Germany);
  • The development of methodological guidelines for territorial planning in flood risk zones, leading to increased knowledge about the subject that could be applied by Riga City Council officials and planners, and by representatives of other municipalities in the EU.
  • Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)
Water - River basin management
Climate change Adaptation - Resilient communities


urban planning‚  modelling‚  risk management‚  water resources management‚  flood protection‚  climate change adaptation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Riga City Council
Type of organisation Local authority
Description Riga City Council is responsible for overseeing the running of the Latvian capital. It consists of 60 councillors, democratically-elected for a four-year term.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE08 ENV/LV/000451
Duration 01-FEB-2010 to 30-NOV -2012
Total budget 662,240.00 €
EU contribution 329,270.00 €
Project location Kurzeme(Latvia Latvija) Latgale(Latvia Latvija) Riga(Latvia Latvija) Pieriga(Latvia Latvija) Vidzeme(Latvia Latvija) Zemgale(Latvia Latvija) Extra-Regio(Latvia Latvija) Associated Latvia (LV)(Latvia Latvija)


Read more:

Brochure "Riga pret pludiem / Riga against flood" (5 MB)
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Metodologiskas vadlïnijas teritorijas planosanai ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version