ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Flood prevention

Flood prevention is a flash point between local and supra-regional interests. The local interest of keeping water away from a district and the supra-regional interest of those downstream to retain water further upstream to the greatest possible extent can only be balanced in mutual responsibility and recognizing the following five guiding principles of preventive flood protection.

1. Water is part of the natural ecological cycle

Water exists on all surfaces and is part of the ecological balance and of land use and must be taken into account by all fields of policy.

2. Withhold water

Water must be stored in the watershed and along the Rhine as long as possible.

3. Room for the river

We must let the river expand so that the runoff may be slowed down without causing any danger.

4. Risk awareness

In spite of all efforts, a residual risk will always remain. We must again learn to live with this risk.

5. Integrated and concerted action

Integrated and concerted action in the entire catchment area is a prerequisite for the success of the Action Plan on Floods and the successful implementation of the EU directive concerning flood risk management.

Did you know ...

that, during extreme floods hitting the entire R. Rhine, damage amounting to 165 billion € would be possible?