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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 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 flood water in the town

Putting the citizen at the centre of flood prevention

Social media has broken down barriers between information providers and consumers. An EU-funded project is seeking to capitalise on this by enabling citizens to monitor and report on their own environment, and thus become the first line of defence against flooding.


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