ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Flood forecasting centre (HVZ) Baden-Württemberg

The Flood forecasting centre of the Landesanstalt für Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) is in charge of establishing flood forecasting for around 90 gauging stations on the Upper Rhine in Baden-Württemberg, on the Neckar, Main and Danube and their most important tributaries. Furthermore, it issues up-to-date flood information for some  230 gauging stations as well as progress reports. Information on present and forecast precipitation in Baden-Württemberg is published on the website of the HVZ. Further means of information for the HVZ are videotext, automatic telephone announcement and eventually reports on the radio. Also, the press and the public are informed as required.

When the HVZ are operating, they update information on water levels and flood forecasting on an hourly basis 24 hours a day. Reports on the situation are issued or updated as required. During operation, the HVZ hourly calculate flood forecasting for the Upper Rhine gauging stations Breisach, Kehl-Kronenhof, Plittersdorf, Maxau, Speyer and Mannheim.

When establishing this forecasting, the forecasting data of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) for the gauging station Basel/Rhine can be integrated into the HVZ model. The flow from the Black Forest tributaries of the Rhine and of the Neckar are measured with the help of the water balance model LARSIM and are based on measured or forecast precipitation, eventually including measured and predicted data on snowfall and are integrated into the Rhine model. When calculating the development of a flood on the Upper Rhine, eventual effects of retention measures (among others exceptional operation of power plants on the Rhine, filling the polders and operation of the agricultural weir Kehl/Strasbourg) are included into the flood forecasting.

According to international agreements, the forecasting of the HVZ for the water level at Maxau/Rhine belongs to the criteria for activating retention measures along the Upper Rhine. HVZ-forecasting of the water level at Maxau/Rhine and Rockenau/Neckar is passed on to the flood forecasting centre Rhine (HMZ) in Mainz.
Development of the hydrological forecasting models of the HVZ is a permanent process.
Furthermore, the HVZ and the German meteorological service (DWD) narrowly co-operate in order to achieve improved hydro-meteorological forecasting as input for the hydrological models. Important focal points of this co-operation are: increased accuracy of radar-supported precipitation measurement and further development of the digital precipitation forecasting model of the DWD.

For further information please refer to the HVZ homepage.