Workshop on Flood Risk Management and Adaptation

Oct 18, 2016 to Oct 18, 2016
Gammarth, Tunisia
The REC organised this Workshop on Flood Risk Management and Adaptation in the framework of the WATER SUM project under the “Capacity Building on Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate” action.

The aim of the training was to increase overall knowledge related to the planning and preparation of flood risk management plans (FRMPs), as well as to enhance professional and inter-institutional dialogue on flood risk management and adaptation.

The training was opened by Ms. Jovanka Ignjatovic, REC Senior Water Management Expert and WATER SUM Project Manager. Ms. Hayet Ben Mansour, Director for Surface Waters, General Directorate of Hydraulic Resources, delivered a welcome note to all participants on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia.

The second session of the workshop laid the groundwork for the day’s proceedings. Local partners from the national water authorities in Tunisia presented an overview of the country’s Flood Risk Management and Adaptation Framework. The current methodology has proven purposeful and reliable, but fundamental needs remain to be addressed, such as mapping flood-risk areas and setting up a model of flood forecasting.

In the following session, Mr. Petr Jirinec and Mr. Gergely Palfi from DHI introduced the theme of preliminary flood risk assessment (PFRA). This session gave the participants a general overview of: how to prepare a PFRA, the main reasons for its preparation, and how its outputs can be used. The presenters stressed the importance of determining PFRA targets and having methodologies in place in order to minimise potential flood damages to human health and well-being, the environment, and economic activities. 

Mr. Jirinec also summarised Europe’s response to severe floods in 2002, when the European Commission took the initiative to launch concerted action at community level to help reduce the severity and damage of flood events. The output of this process – the overarching EU Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC) – contains specific provisions obliging EU member states to undertake preliminary flood risk assessments of their river basins and associated coastal zones, and to identify areas that pose potentially significant flood risks. He then described the process: starting from carrying out a PFRA and identifying possible risky areas to developing flood maps, property maps and risk quantifications. When all the risks are identified, it is then possible to develop the data that will be needed for taking decisions, the speaker concluded.

Session Four introduced the importance of optimal reservoir operation (or, where the Medjerda River basin is concerned, reservoir function) to maximise flood control capacity. The DHI experts explained the fundamental rules and correct procedures – both in theory and in practice (e.g. using MIKE basin software) – to achieve maximum capacity. A concluding practical group exercise centred on basin-scale flood preparedness.

The workshop closed with a series of recommendations related to strengthening flood risk management in Tunisia, such as:

  • sharing more international examples to learn more and build on synergic flood risk and hazard mapping processes;
  • embracing different approaches for achieving common goals;
  • development of flood risk management plans; and
  • reducing the effect of floods in Tunisia through strict control of dam operations.

Photo gallery of the “Training on Flood Risk Management, Flood Hazard and Flood Risk Maps”

Tags: Training