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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 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.

Photo of a storm

Crisis management - prevention, response and recovery

The emergency response core service of the EU's Earth monitoring programme has been expanded, enabling better crisis management before, during and after emergencies often related to global climate change. Global climate change has far-reaching effects on land, waters and the atmosphere, increasing risk for natural disasters. Fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides can all create humanitarian crises.

 

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