ARDAFORECAST - a reliable flood warning system, developed for the cross-border Arda River

Bulgaria and Greece have come together to create a cross-border early warning system on the Arda river in order to ensure the safety of those living along the most flood-prone rivers in the southeast Balkans.

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Telemetric hydro-meteorological station at Dam Ivaylovgrad on Arda River, close to the Bulgaria-Greece border. Telemetric hydro-meteorological station at Dam Ivaylovgrad on Arda River, close to the Bulgaria-Greece border.

" The creation of the operational flood forecasting technology and ensuring flood warnings five days ahead of time for the Arda river basin are among the main project results. The project creates cross-border technological capacity, increases the security for the local population and serves to improve the business climate in the region. "

Prof. Dobri Dimitrov, ARDAFORECAST Project Manager, NIMH

The “Flood warning system establishment in Arda river basin for minimising the risk in the cross border area” project, or ARDAFORECAST for short, was launched on 20 March 2012. Lead by the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), in partnership with EABD in Plovdiv, RD fund in Komotini and DUTH in Xhanti, the project creates a flood warning system in order to monitor critical areas throughout the Arda river drainage basin, and share this information in real time.

The project aims to support the implementation of flood mitigation measures and reduce the adverse consequences of flood events for human health, environment, cultural heritage and economic activity in the region. Additionally, it serves as a basis to promote cross-border cooperation and educate the local population on proper means of reaction and prevention against such hazards.

The activities carried out by the ARDAFORECAST project include the establishment and running of reliable flood forecasting tools for accurate and timely flood forecasts with sufficient lead time. This has been achieved by improving the density and frequency of the available observation network, installing additional automatic gauging stations, establishing a hydro meteorological information system, development of a GIS database and forecasting models, in order to facilitate real-time data sharing in the cross-border region.

The social approach to flood prevention

The ARDAFORECAST project includes outreach measures, aimed at to the region’s population in order to prepare and further protect them from the hazards that a flood situation holds. Thus an efficient approach to dissemination of flood forecast information and warning messages to the end users has been established.

Locals have taken part in training and educational activities in cooperation with the local administration, in which a set of warning procedures have been explained. In addition, awareness-raising campaigns have been organised, web-based tools created for information exchange, and access made available for decision makers, stakeholders and the general public to all the necessary data, forecasts and promotional materials.


Total investment and EU Funding

Total investment for the project Flood warning system establishment in Arda river basin for minimising the risk in the cross border area is EUR 823 220,50, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 699 737,43 from the Operational Programme “Greece – Bulgaria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.


Draft date

03/11/2014