Reliable prediction of probable water levels and their development in time form the basis for protection by emergency services or those directly concerned by floods, for effective personal protection or protection of goods from flooding. Flood warnings and forecasting periods depend on the situation of the sub-watershed compared to the entire watershed. They may vary from few minutes for mountain torrents to several days in the Rhine delta.
In the Rhine watershed, flood information is published by relevant flood warning centres for the entire surface and within a short period of time. Since their introduction, existing flood announcement systems have largely contributed to damage reduction. The quality of information and forecasting is continuously being improved.
Short term improvement of the flood warning system due to international co-operation within the ICPR is one of the main targets of the Action Plan on Floods. Between 1995 and 2005, forecasting periods have been doubled, even though reliability is not the same as for shorter forecasting periods.
You here find a map with links to regional flood forecasting web-pages.
Flood forecasting announces probable water levels and their development in time.
Flood warning indicates that the expected water levels may entail flooding.
Flood alarm is a call for concrete action to secure life, limb and material goods.