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Lowering the risk of floods in the Danube basin  

​Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the DANUBE FLOODRISK project has introduced the most cost-effective measures to reduce flood risk across the region, with large benefits for the rural and urban environment. The project brought together scientists, NGOs and stakeholders from all the Danube countries. Together, they developed a scalable system of flood risk maps for the Danube floodplains. The project team also introduced a series of flood mitigation measures, new spatial development plans and assessment tools for economic development in flood plains. Crucially, their work has resulted in a heightened awareness of flood risk among key stakeholders, including the general public. Total investment for the project “Danube Floodrisk” is EUR 6,4 million with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 5 million through the “South East Europe Transnational Cooperation” Operational Programme.

The Danube is one of the most important natural axes in South-East Europe, linking most countries in the region. The catastrophic flood events 2006 revealed for the first time how vulnerable it is to extreme natural events. In addition, the recent increase in industrial and urban settlements means that damage costs as a result of flooding have increased significantly. A transnational, interdisciplinary and stakeholder-oriented approach was crucial for adequately assessing and mapping flood risk. And due to the many actors involved in flood risk management, harmonisation was a key feature of the project. This “common interpretation” of events covered the specification of the goals and tackled major technical questions. The project is a key contribution to the work in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region through the Priority Area 5 'Environmental Risks', as a first step towards the development and adoption of a single overarching floods management plan at basin level.
DANUBE FLOODRISK has resulted in better socio-economic conditions in the Danube basin and less flood damage to its floodplain. The project has also improved the long-term strategic planning framework for flood risk management. According to experts, the project has a far reaching strategic focus beyond risk management and could become a flagship project for the South-East Europe programme. The project created 28 new jobs in project management and financial management. Hundreds of positions were also created in flood prevention areas. The DANUBE FLOODRISK project established solid transnational cooperation among all the South-East Europe programme countries. All those involved gained a deep understanding of the flood risk management strategy, priorities and methods. In addition, hydraulic models were harmonised and a joint database and flood risk maps were created.
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