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Flood mapping: a core component of flood risk management

Flood mapping is a crucial element of flood risk management. Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks will require Member States to prepare two types of maps by 2013 (art 6) :

  • Flood hazard maps, showing the extent and expected water depths/levels of an area flooded in three scenarios, a low probability scenario or extreme events, in a medium probability scenario (at least with a return period of 100 years) and if appropriate a high probability scenario.
  • Flood risk maps, shall also be prepared for the areas flooded under these scenarios showing potential population, economic activities and the environment at potential risk from flooding, and other information that Member States may find useful to include, for instance other sources of pollution.

Handbook on good practice on flood mapping in Europe

Across Europe flood mapping practices are already developed, although there is still much work to do to ensure all relevant areas are covered. In 2006-2007 a group called "EXCIMAP" (European Exchange Circle on Flood Mapping"), operating under a mandate from the Water Directors and composed of flood mapping experts from most EU Member States, reviewed current flood mapping practices in Europe. This resulted in the production of a Handbook of good practices in flood mapping, an as part of that an Atlas of Flood Maps, with examples from 19 European countries, USA and Japan.

Although these documents do not constitute any form of guidance on how the requirements of the Directive can be fulfilled, neither do they necessarily express the views of the European Commission, they give an insight in current practices across the EU. Follow the links below to find out which the flood mapping practices in your Member State are:

Europe Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Hungary Ireland Latvia Luxembourg Poland Spain Sweden The Netherlands United Kingdom Norway Croatia Switzerland Italy Luxembourg USA Japan
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