ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Survey of „Rhine 2020“ in the field of flood risk management: Action Plan on Floods 1995-2020

Between 1995 and 2020, the Rhine bordering states successfully implemented the Action Plan on Floods and its numerous measures. Many of the measures planned for the period up to 2020 have been effectively and efficiently implemented at the costs estimated beforehand (see brochure Balance APF/Rhine 2020 and second International Flood Risk Management Plan Rhine). The final state of the APF is presented in the following table.

The ICPR has assessed the effectiveness of measures on the reduction of flood risks using its FloRiAn tool.

Action Targets of the Action Plan on Floods for the target year 2020 compared to the reference year 1995

Results of the implementation of the Action Plan on Floods by 2020 compared to the reference year 1995

(1) Reduce flood damage risks by 25 % by 2020.


(2) Reduction of flood levels - Reduction of extreme flood levels by up to 70 cm by 2020 downstream the impounded section (60 cm due to water retention along the Rhine and approximately 10 cm due to water retention in the Rhine catchment)

Partly achieved

(3) Increasing flood awareness by drafting and spreading flood risk maps for 100 % of flood hazard areas


(4) Improve the flood forecasting system - short term improvement of flood forecasting systems due to international cooperation. Prolong forecasting periods by 100 % by 2005.


The flood risk management approach already included into the Action Plan on Floods is been continued since 2015 whith the flood risk management plan for the Rhine according to the EU Floods Directive (FD). Apart from technical flood proofing measures and the creation of flood retention areas and measures enlarging the river as well as further measures to be implemented by 2030 and leading to a distinct increase of the retention volume along the Rhine, priority is given to measures aimed at reducing the flood risk, e.g. improving flood prevention and flood awareness and an as early flood announcement as possible as well as immediate information on flood gauges. According to the EU Floods Directive the risk assessment will not only take into account the protection of man and economy, but also that of environment and cultural heritage.

Effects of climate change are an additional challenge for the future, as flood risks might rise in winter and risks of low water might rise in summer.

Thus, the Rhine bordering countries continue their efforts towards making those concerned by floods aware of flood risks and to prepare them accordingly. The priority target in the Rhine catchment remains to reduce the flood risk in cooperation with those concerned and the numerous actors in this field.