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Horizon Prizes

Take a look at the Horizon Prizes web site to see which challenge you might take up ...

• Better use of Antibiotics • Breaking the optical transmission barriers
• Materials for clean air • Collaborative Spectrum Sharing • Food scanner

Flooding in Europe: EU Research

There has never been a time when natural hazards did not regularly and profoundly affect life on earth. Tales of torrents, floods and earthly upheaval appear in our most ancient myths, and such events have played and continue to play, now more than ever, an integral part in the natural history of our planet.

As the world continues to be confronted by natural hazards, single states will always struggle to provide an adequate response when working in isolation. Therefore, it makes more sense to address such hazards from a European and global perspective.

EU policy embraces a strong international orientation, intended to foster more cross-border cooperation and solidarity, while promoting new public-private relationships. The Commission also supports efforts to improve the dissemination of research results. By working to promote communication and dialogue between key stakeholders, scientists, policy-makers and the general public, the European Commission hopes to ensure that all citizens are better aware of the hazards and risks and what can be done about them.

Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded research related to flooding:

Photo of a man in the rain

Helping water utilities adapt to climate change

When a deluge strikes there's a risk that a city's sewers and storm water networks are unable to handle the volume of water - leading to overflows and flooding. In response, an EU-funded project has created an early warning system that allows city authorities and water utilities to take preventative action before sewer and storm water networks overflow and flood the streets - potentially saving lives and protecting homes and infrastructure.

Photo of a stormy sea

Building high performance, low cost radar system

Since the ancient Greeks first began collecting rainwater in pots in about 500 BC, little has changed in how basic rainfall records are made. While there are more precise measurement methods, for example by using parts of multi-purpose radars operated by large weather services, they are complex and expensive for local users. Now, an alternative is possible thanks to a European Union (EU)-funded research project developing an accurate, affordable, real time, and user-friendly system to monitor both the spatial distribution and the intensity of rain.

 

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