Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 717–732 | Cite as

Improvements on Flood Alleviation in Germany: Lessons Learned from the Elbe Flood in August 2002

  • Theresia PetrowEmail author
  • Annegret H. Thieken
  • Heidi Kreibich
  • Bruno Merz
  • Cord Heinrich Bahlburg
Article

Abstract

The increase in damage due to natural disasters is directly related to the number of people who live and work in hazardous areas and continuously accumulate assets. Therefore, land use planning authorities have to manage effectively the establishment and development of settlements in flood-prone areas in order to avoid the further increase of vulnerable assets. Germany faced major destruction during the flood in August 2002 in the Elbe and Danube catchments, and many changes have been suggested in the existing German water and planning regulations. This article presents some findings of a “Lessons Learned” study that was carried out in the aftermath of the flood and discusses the following topics: 1) the establishment of comprehensive hazard maps and flood protection concepts, 2) the harmonization of regulations of flood protection at the federal level, 3) the communication of the flood hazard and awareness strategies, and 4) how damage potential can be minimized through measures of area precaution such as resettlement and risk-adapted land use. Although attempts towards a coordinated and harmonized creation of flood hazard maps and concepts have been made, there is still no uniform strategy at all planning levels and for all states (Lae nder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. The development and communication of possible mitigation strategies for “unthinkable extreme events” beyond the common safety level of a 100-year flood are needed. In order to establish a sustainable and integrated flood risk management, interdisciplinary and catchment-based approaches are needed.

Keywords

Spatial planning Hazard maps Risk communication Flood protection concepts Elbe 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was part of the Lessons Learned study (DKKV 2003), which was completed by a group of researchers from the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, and the Disaster Research Unit of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. The study was funded by the German Red Cross and coordinated by the German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV). We dedicate special thanks to our interview partners from the authorities in the study areas and to all organizations that provided data.

References

  1. Bahlburg C. H. 2003. Klimaänderungen und die Aufgaben der räumlichen Planung–Welchen Beitrag kann die räumliche Planung zu einem raumorientierten Risikomanagement in Technik und Umwelt, insbesondere im Hinblick auf eine Klimaänderung leisten? Erfahrungen aus Berlin-Brandenburg. Pages 132–153 in H. Karl, J. Pohl (eds.), ARL (Academy of Spatial Research and Regional Planning). Raumorientiertes Risikomanagement in Technik und Umwelt–Katastrophenvorsorge durch Raumplanung. ARL Forschungs-und Sitzungsberichte, Hannover. (in German)Google Scholar
  2. Barraque B. 2000. Prevention des inondations en Europe: Hydraulique, assurances, ou solidarité? (Flood prevention in Europe: Hydraulics, insurance or solidarity?). Houille Blanche 2000:71–78 (in French)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BDLA (Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekten–Federation of German Landscape Architects). 2003. Weniger Sandsäcke–mehr Vorsorge. Stellungsnahme zum geplanten Gesetz zur Verbesserung des vorbeugenden Hochwasserschutzes, (Comment on the 08.09.2003). http://www.bdla.de/(access on the 27.01.2005), Berlin (in German)
  4. Benoît R., S. Forget, J. Rouselle. 2003. The effectiveness of flood damage reduction measures in the Montreal region. Natural Hazards 28:367–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berg H. 2002. Flood inundation maps–mapping of flood prone areas in Norway. IAHS-AISH-publication 271:313–316Google Scholar
  6. BMU (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit–German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety). 2003. 5-Punkte-Programm der Bundesregierung: Arbeitsschritte zur Verbesserung des vorbeugenden Hochwasserschutzes. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Publ.), Bonn (in German)Google Scholar
  7. BMU (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit–German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety). 2004. Den Flüssen mehr Raum geben–Schäden vermeiden, Bundeskabinett beschließt Hochwasserschutzgesetz. Press release. (03.03.2004). Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Publ.), Bonn (in German)Google Scholar
  8. BMU (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit–German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety). 2005. Gesetz zur Verbesserung des vorbeugenden Hochwasserschutzes. Bundesgesetzblatt 2005, Teil 1 Nr. 26. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Publ.), 9th May 2005. Bonn (in German)Google Scholar
  9. Böhm H. R., B. Haupter, P. Heiland, and K. Dapp. 2004. Implementation of flood risk management measures into spatial plans and policies. River Research and Applications 20:255–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bouillon M.-C., F. P. Brissette, C. Marche. 1999. Le risque d’inondation et son évolution sur la rivière Châteauguay. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering 26(2):186–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borchert J. 1992. Flusskorridore als überregionale Verbundstrukturen. Natur und Landschaft 67:413–418. (in German)Google Scholar
  12. Burby R. J. 2001. Flood insurance and floodplain management: the US experience. Environmental Hazards 3:111–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. BWG (Swiss Federal Office for Water and Geology (Publ.)). 2001. Hochwasserschutz an Fliessgewässern. Bern. 73 pp (in German)Google Scholar
  14. Chivers J., N. E. Flores. 2002. Market failure in information: The National Flood Insurance Program. Land Economics 78:515–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Bruijn K. M. 2005. Resilience and flood risk management, A systems approach applied to lowland rivers. DUP Science, Delft, PhD Thesis, 210 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. DIHK (Deutschen Industrie– und Handelskammertag–The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce). 2003. Stellungnahme des Deutschen Industrie–und Handelskammertages (DIHK) zum Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verbesserung des vorbeugenden Hochwasserschutzes vom 07.08.2003. The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (Publ.), Berlin (in German)Google Scholar
  17. DKKV (Deutsches Komitee für Katastrophenvorsorge–German Committee for Disaster Reduction). 2003. Hochwasservorsorge in Deutschland–Lernen aus der Katastrophe 2002 im Elbegebiet. Schriftenreihe des DKKV 29 Lessons Learned. Bonn. (in German)Google Scholar
  18. DRL (Deutscher Rat für Landespflege–German Council for Land Stewardship). 2002. Hochwasserschutz–was soll, was kann, was muss er leisten. 12 pp. Bonn. (in German)Google Scholar
  19. DWD (German Weather Service). 2002. Das Niedesschlagsgeschehen in Mitteleurop in den arsten 12 Tagen des August 2002. http://www.dwd.de/de/FundE/Klima/KLIS/prod/special/regen/rr-extrem_200208.pdf
  20. DZI (Deutsches Zentralinstitut für soziale Fragen). 2004. DZI Spenden-Almanach 2004/05. Berlin. (in German)Google Scholar
  21. EC (European Commission (Publ.)). 1999. European spatial development perspective. Towards balanced and sustainable development of the territory of the European Union, Luxembourg, 78 pp.Google Scholar
  22. EC (European Commission (Publ.)). 2006. A proposed Directive flood risk management. http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/water/flood_risk/dir_asses.htm. (accessed on 24 January 2006)
  23. EU (European Union (Publ.)). 2005. Questionnaire on Hazard mapping. http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/civil/prote/hazard_mapping/mss_eea_cc/czech/hazard_mapping.pdf (accessed on 17 January 2006)
  24. Egli T. 2000. Gefahrenkarten für die Bauvorsorge und Notfallplanung. Workshop Vorbeugender Hochwasserschutz auf kommunaler Ebene 13./14.12.2000. Dresden Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung. Umweltbundesamt Berlin (in German)Google Scholar
  25. Egli T. 2002. Hochwasserschutz durch nachhaltiges Schadenpotenzialmanagement. Internationales Symposium 2002 in Zürich: Moderne Methoden und Konzepte im Wasserbau, Zürich, 9 pp. (in German)Google Scholar
  26. Environment Group Research Report. 2004. Requirements for flood mapping: Scoping study—Final report. JBA Consulting Scottish Executive 2004. Environment Group Research Report 2004/03. EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  27. European Parliament. 2000. Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 72 ppGoogle Scholar
  28. Fink A., U. Ulbrich, H. Engel. 1996. Aspects of the January 1995 flood in Germany. Weather 51:34–39Google Scholar
  29. Grothmann T., F. Reusswig. 2006. People at risk of flooding: Why some residents take precautionary action while others do not. Natural Hazards 38:101–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Haase D., T. Weichel, M. Volk, C. Gläßer, J. Birger, D. Zober, P. Reinartz, T. Heege, R. Müller, M. Schroeder. 2003. Flächenhafte Erfassung der Hochwassergebiete mittels Fernerkundungsdaten. Tagungsband Statusseminar des BMBF-Ad-hoc-Verbundprojektes, Freiberg, pp. 43–57 (in German)Google Scholar
  31. Heidland F. 2003. Die Leistungsfähigkeit raumordnerischer Instrumente zur Steuerung von Katastrophenrisiken. In H. Karl, J. Pohl (eds.), ARL (Academy of Spatial Research and Regional Planning). Raumorientiertes Risikomanagement in Technik und Umwelt–Katastrophenvorsorge durch Raumplanung. ARL Forschungs-und Sitzungsberichte, Hannover, pp 102–113 (in German)Google Scholar
  32. Heiland P. 2002. Vorsorgender Hochwasserschutz durch Raumplanung, interregionale Kooperation und ökonomischen Lastenausgleich. Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schriftenreihe WAR 143. PhD Thesis. Darmstadt (in German)Google Scholar
  33. Hooijer A., F. Klijn, G. Bas, M. Pedroli, A. D. G. Van Os. 2004. Towards sustainable flood risk management in the Rhine and Meuse River basins: Synopsis of the findings of IRMA-SPONGE. River Research and Applications 20:343–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hoydal O. A., H. Berg, I. Haddenland, L. E. Petterson, A. Vokso, E. Oydvin. 2000. Procedures and guidelines for flood inundation maps in Norway. PIK-Report 65:404–410Google Scholar
  35. ICPE (International Commission for the Protection of the Elbe). 2004. Dokumentation des Hochwassers vom August 2002 im Einzugsgebiet der Elbe. Magdeburg (in German)Google Scholar
  36. ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine). 1998. Flood action plan on flood defence. KoblenzGoogle Scholar
  37. ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine). 2001. Rhine atlas 2001. KoblenzGoogle Scholar
  38. ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine). 2002. Hochwasservorsorge–Maßnahmen und ihre Wirksamkeit. Koblenz (in German)Google Scholar
  39. International Glossary of Hydrology. 1992. http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~hubert/glu/aglo.htm(accessed on 17 January 2006)
  40. Kleeberg H.-B. 2001. Zur Hochwasser-Zonierung der deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft. Pages 39–50 in Hochwasser-Niedrigwasser-Risiken. Conference Proceedings, Nürnberg: ATV-DVWK 2001Google Scholar
  41. Kleeberg H.-B. (ed). 2005. Hochwasser-Gefahrenkarten. Forum für Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung Heft 08/05. Fachgemeinschaft Hydrologische Wissenschaften der DWAGoogle Scholar
  42. Kreibich H., T. Petrow, A. H. Thieken, M. Müller, B. Merz. 2005a. Consequences of the extreme flood event of August 2002 in the city of Dresden, Germany. IAHS Red Book 293:164–173Google Scholar
  43. Kreibich H., A. H. Thieken, T. Petrow, M. Müller, B. Merz. 2005b. Flood loss reduction of private households due to building precautionary measures—Lessons learned from the Elbe flood in August 2002. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 5:117–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kron W. 2003a. Hochwasserrisiko und Überschwemmungsvorsorge in Flussauen. In H. Karl, J. Pohl (eds.), ARL (Academy of Spatial Research and Regional Planning). Raumorientiertes Risikomanagement in Technik und Umwelt—Katastrophenvorsorge durch Raumplanung. ARL Forschungs-und Sitzungsberichte, Hannover (in German) pp 79–101Google Scholar
  45. Kron W. 2003b. Überschwemmungsschäden und Versicherung (Flood losses and insurance). Wasserwirtschaft 93:8–12 (in German)Google Scholar
  46. LTV (Dam Authority of Saxony). 2003. Grundlagen und Randbedingungen der Wiederbebaubarkeit im Überschwemmungsgebiet bei HQ 100. Hochwasserschutzkonzept im Schadensgebiet der Fließgewässer I. Ordnung Los 2–Müglitz, LTV. Pirna (in German)Google Scholar
  47. Marco J. B. 1994. Flood risk mapping. Pages 353–373 in G. Rossi, N. Harmancioglu, V. Yevjevich (eds), Coping with floods. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  48. Mechler R., J. Weichselgartner. 2003. Disaster loss financing in Germany—The case of the Elbe River floods 2002. Laxenburg: IIASA interim report IR-03-021Google Scholar
  49. Menendez M. 2000. Design discharge calculations and flood plain management. European Commission (Directorate General XII): FLOODaware Final report, Cemagref, 53–82Google Scholar
  50. Mikhailov V. N., M. V. Mikhailova, V.N. Morozov, M.V. Kornilov, V. N. Khudoleev. 2004. Catastrophic flood on the Danube River in August 2002. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 1:53–57Google Scholar
  51. Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic. 2004. August 2002 catastrophic flood in the Czech Republic, PragueGoogle Scholar
  52. Morris D. G., R. W. Flavin. 1996. Report no. 130. Flood risk map for England and Wales. Institute of Hydrology (Publ.), WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  53. Morris-Oswald T., S. P. Simonovic, J. Sinclair. 1998. Efforts in flood damage reduction in the Red River Basin: Practical considerations. Report prepared for the Environmental Adaptation Research Group, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of TorontoGoogle Scholar
  54. Mudelsee M., M. Börngen, G. Tetzlaff, W. Feck-Yao. 2002. Towards predicting catastrophic flood events: an analysis of historical data of rivers Elbe and Oder. Pages 103–111 in G. Tetzlaff, T. Trautmann, K. S. Radtke (eds.), Zweites Forum Katastrophenvorsorge Extreme Naturereignisse—Folgen, Vorsorge, Werkzeuge. DKKV, Bonn (in German).Google Scholar
  55. MUNLV (Ministerium für Umwelt und Naturschutz, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen). 2003. Leitfaden Hochwasser-Gefahrenkarten. 21 pp. (in German)Google Scholar
  56. Parker D. J. (ed). 2000. Floods, volume 1. Routledge, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  57. Petrascheck A. 2002. Risk assessment and hazard zone planning in Switzerland. Österreichische Wasser-und Abfallwirtschaft 54:123–127Google Scholar
  58. PLANAT (National Platform for Natural Hazards in Switzerland). 1998. From protection against hazards to the management of risk. Bundesamt für Wasser und Geologie, BernGoogle Scholar
  59. PLANAT. 2004. The cycle of integrated risk management. Switzerland (<http://www.planat.ch/>http://www.planat.ch - risk management) (accessed on 28 October 2004)
  60. Plate E. J., B. Merz, C. Eikenberg. 1999. Natural disasters: Strategies for mitigation and disaster response. Final report by the German IDNDR Committee at the end of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. German IDNDR-Series 17. BonnGoogle Scholar
  61. Platt R.H. 1999. From flood control to flood insurance: Changing approaches to floods in the United States. Environments 27:67–78Google Scholar
  62. Ramsbottom D. 2002. Catchment flood management: Procedures and tools. MITCH Workshop II, PotsdamGoogle Scholar
  63. Sayers P., J. Hall, R. Dawson, C. Rosu, J. Chatterton, R. Deakin. 2002. Risk assessment of flood and coastal defences for strategic planning (RASP)—A high level methodology. DEFRA Conference of Coastal and River Engineers, Keele University, HR WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  64. Schwarze R., G. G. Wagner. 2004. In the aftermath of Dresden: New directions in German flood insurance. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance—Issues and Practise 29: 154–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schwarze R., G. G. Wagner. 2005. Versicherungspflicht gegen Elementarschäden–Ein Lehrstück für Probleme der volkswirtschaftlichen Politikberatung. Research Notes 3/2005, DIW, Berlin, 38 pp. (in German)Google Scholar
  66. SFOWG, SFOSD, SAEFL (Swiss Federal Office for Water and Geology, Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape). 1997. Empfehlungen zur Berücksichtigung der Hochwassergefahren bei raumwirksamen Tätigkeiten. Bern (in German)Google Scholar
  67. Shrubsole D., V. J. Hammond, R. Kreutzwiser, I. Woodley. 1997. Assessing floodplain regulation in Glen Williams, Ontario, Canada. Journal of Environmental Management 50:301–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith K., R. Ward. 1998. Floods physical processes and human impacts. John Wiley and Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  69. SMUL (Saxon Ministry for the Environment and agriculture). 2002. Hochwasserschutz in Sachsen. Materialien zur Wasserwirtschaft. Dresden (in German)Google Scholar
  70. Swiss Re. 1998. Überschwemmung – ein versicherbares Risiko? Marktübersicht. Zurich: Swiss Re. 36 pp. (in German)Google Scholar
  71. Thieken A. H., T. Petrow, H. Kreibich, B. Merz. 2006. Flood losses, insurance cover and precautionary behavior of private households affected by the August 2002 flood in Germany. Risk Analysis 26(2):383–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Turowski G. 2002. Spatial planning in Germany—Structures and concepts: Studies in spatial development. Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL)Google Scholar
  73. Ulbrich U., T. Brücher, A. H. Fink, G. C. Leckebusch, A. Krüger, J. G. Pinto. 2003. The central European floods of August 2002: Part 1—Rainfall periods and flood development. Weather 58:371–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Vetters N., F. Prettenthaler. 2003. Extreme Wetterereignisse: Nationale Risikotransfersysteme im Vergleich. Institute of National Economy, University of Graz. 25 ppGoogle Scholar
  75. Vogt R. 1995. Hochwasser in Köln (Floods in Cologne). Pages 48–55 in Documentation of the Workshop “Mit dem Hochwasser leben” (in German)Google Scholar
  76. von Ungern-Sternberg T. 2004. Efficient monopolies—The limits of competition in the European property insurance market. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 176 ppGoogle Scholar
  77. Watt W. E. 2000. Twenty years of flood risk mapping under the Canadian National Flood Damage Reduction Program. In Marsalek J., et al. (eds), Flood issues in contemporary water management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. pp 155–165Google Scholar
  78. Weikinn C. 1958. Quellentexte zur Witterungsgeschichte Europas von der Zeitwende bis zum Jahre 1850: Hydrographie, Teil 1 (Zeitwende.1500). Akademie-Verlag, Berlin, 531 pp. (in German)Google Scholar
  79. Wind H. G., T. M. Nierop, C. J. de Blois, J. L. de Kok. 1999. Analysis of flood damages from the 1993 and 1995 Meuse floods. Water Resources Research 35:3459–3465CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresia Petrow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Annegret H. Thieken
    • 1
  • Heidi Kreibich
    • 1
  • Bruno Merz
    • 1
  • Cord Heinrich Bahlburg
    • 2
  1. 1.Section Engineering HydrologyGeoForschungsZentrum PotsdamTelegrafenbergGermany
  2. 2.Landesplanung & LandeskundeBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations