Because of their frequency, floods account for half of all natural disasters globally*. They are caused by recurring natural phenomena (monsoons) and specific meteorological conditions. However, human activity (urban expansion, deforestation, road-building, agriculture, soil sealing, construction on flood plains, poor infrastructure maintenance, etc.) is heightening this risk.
Hydrological information forms the basis of all water resource management, in which the relevant scale is the drainage basin, particularly in the context of climate change. This information has many uses, including for flood risk management.
Proven tools already exist, including risk mapping, forecasting and early warning systems, the development of risk management applications and services, integrating rainwater management into town planning, stakeholder and population participation (alert chain), capacity building for all types of stakeholders (elected representatives, technicians, industrial companies, users, etc.), protecting people and property when necessary (including using Nature-Based Solutions) and preparing for high-risk events and natural disasters.
Directive 2007/60/EC (known as the “Floods Directive”) provides the general framework under which European Union Member States organise their flood risk management policy with a view to limiting the negative consequences of these events.
In France, metropolises, urban communities and municipalities are tasked with aquatic environment management and flood prevention responsibilities: the Aquatic Environment Management and Flood Prevention (GEMAPI) principle draws a clear link between ecosystem conservation and flood risk reduction.