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Review of the flood risk management system in Germany after the major flood in 2013

  • Widespread flooding in June 2013 caused damage costs of €6 to 8 billion in Germany, and awoke many memories of the floods in August 2002, which resulted in total damage of €11.6 billion and hence was the most expensive natural hazard event in Germany up to now. The event of 2002 does, however, also mark a reorientation toward an integrated flood risk management system in Germany. Therefore, the flood of 2013 offered the opportunity to review how the measures that politics, administration, and civil society have implemented since 2002 helped to cope with the flood and what still needs to be done to achieve effective and more integrated flood risk management. The review highlights considerable improvements on many levels, in particular (1) an increased consideration of flood hazards in spatial planning and urban development, (2) comprehensive property-level mitigation and preparedness measures, (3) more effective flood warnings and improved coordination of disaster response, and (4) a more targeted maintenance of flood defense systems.Widespread flooding in June 2013 caused damage costs of €6 to 8 billion in Germany, and awoke many memories of the floods in August 2002, which resulted in total damage of €11.6 billion and hence was the most expensive natural hazard event in Germany up to now. The event of 2002 does, however, also mark a reorientation toward an integrated flood risk management system in Germany. Therefore, the flood of 2013 offered the opportunity to review how the measures that politics, administration, and civil society have implemented since 2002 helped to cope with the flood and what still needs to be done to achieve effective and more integrated flood risk management. The review highlights considerable improvements on many levels, in particular (1) an increased consideration of flood hazards in spatial planning and urban development, (2) comprehensive property-level mitigation and preparedness measures, (3) more effective flood warnings and improved coordination of disaster response, and (4) a more targeted maintenance of flood defense systems. In 2013, this led to more effective flood management and to a reduction of damage. Nevertheless, important aspects remain unclear and need to be clarified. This particularly holds for balanced and coordinated strategies for reducing and overcoming the impacts of flooding in large catchments, cross-border and interdisciplinary cooperation, the role of the general public in the different phases of flood risk management, as well as a transparent risk transfer system. Recurring flood events reveal that flood risk management is a continuous task. Hence, risk drivers, such as climate change, land-use changes, economic developments, or demographic change and the resultant risks must be investigated at regular intervals, and risk reduction strategies and processes must be reassessed as well as adapted and implemented in a dialogue with all stakeholders.show moreshow less

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Author:Annegret Henriette ThiekenORCiDGND, Sarah Kienzler, Heidi KreibichORCiDGND, Christian Kuhlicke, Michael Kunz, Bernhard Mühr, Meike Müller, Antje Otto, Theresia PetrowGND, Sebastian Pisi, Kai Schröter
DOI:https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08547-210251
ISSN:1708-3087 (online)
ISSN:1195-5449 (print)
Parent Title (English):Ecology and society : E&S ; a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability
Publisher:Resilience Alliance
Place of publication:Wolfville, NS
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2016
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2016/10/05
Tag:August 2002 flood; Central Europe; Floods Directive; June 2013 flood; governance; risk management cycle
Volume:21
Issue:2
Pagenumber:12
Funder:Universität Potsdam, Publikationsfonds
Grant Number:PA 2016_23
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 294