Summary of Activities

17.01.-16.04.2013 First quarter period

Kick-off meeting

Kick-off meeting The opening ceremony of the EU IPA 2010 Twinning project “Development of Flood Hazard Maps and Flood Risk Maps” was held in the conference room of the European Union Information centre in Zagreb, on Wednesday, 17th April 2013, from 10.30 – 12.30 h.
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Main guest speakers were Her Excellency Mrs Stella Ronner-Grubačić, the Dutch Ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Michèle Boccoz, the French Ambassador, Mrs Helga Bubanović Devčić (Assistant Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds), Mrs Karmen Cerar (Head of Sector for International Projects of Ministry of Agriculture) and Mr Siniša Širac (Director of Development, Croatian Waters).

The representatives of the Twinning consortium partners, Mr Edo Dijkman, MS Project Leader (Dutch Government Service for Land and Water Management) and Mrs Edith Hödl-Kreuzbauer, MS Junior Project Leader (Austrian Environment Agency) presented activities which will be implemented during the project.

  1. Kick-off event Press Release
  2. Kick-off event Presentation by Mr Edo Dijkman, MS PL
  3. Kick-off event Presentation by Mrs Edith Hödl-Kreuzbauer, MS JPL
  4. Video from the Croatian Television show ˝On the path of EU Funds˝ on the Kick-off event

Activity 1.1 - Selection of pilot areas

Selecting minimum 2 pilot areas of adequate sizes for the preparation of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps: 1 pilot area in the Danube River Basin and 1 or 2 pilot areas in the Adriatic Basin based on the results of preliminary flood risk assessment and preparing corresponding report.
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Selection_of_pilot_areas The EU Floods Directive requires Member States to undertake and complete by 22 December 2011 a preliminary flood risk assessment (PFRA) and to identify on the basis of this PFRA the areas for which they conclude that potential significant flood risks (PSFR) exist or might be considered likely to occur. For these areas Member States shall prepare and complete before 22 December 2013 flood hazard maps and flood risk maps (FHRM).

In this twinning project flood hazard maps and flood risk maps will not be produced for all Croatia but only for pilot areas. The selection of pilot areas was done by representatives from Croatian Waters (Headquarters and regional offices) and from the Ministry of Agriculture together with short-term experts as follows:

  • Two maps that were produced by Croatian Waters in 2012 were taken as starting point for the selection. One map is entitled “preliminary flood risk assessment”, the other one is entitled “preliminary assessment of areas with significant flood risk”.
  • Regional offices of Croatian Waters proposed and presented a total of 6 candidate pilot areas.
  • Selection criteria were defined taking the Floods Directive as a starting point and the agreed criteria were used for a preliminary selection of pilot areas.
  • The participants assessed whether the selected pilot areas would be suitable to be able to develop a methodology to prepare flood hazard maps and flood risk maps for other areas of Croatia than the selected pilot areas.
The Neretva delta in the Adriatic Basin and the Kupa river in the Danube River Basin were selected as pilot areas.

Activity 1.2 - Project Implementation Plan

Developing the Pilot Project Implementation Plan and Methodology for the preparation of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps for the selected pilot areas.
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The development of the Project Implementation Plan started in March 2013. After preparatory work a mission was held from 2 to 5 April 2013. In several meetings during this week officials and experts from Croatian Waters and the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of stakeholders in Croatia and project leaders, component leaders and short-term experts (STE) participated and contributed to this PIP. The leaders of the components 2 (data and mathematical models), 3 (mapping) and 4 (guidance documents) drafted detailed component implementation plans using a common template. The draft training programme developed in the first mission was discussed, finalized and added to the PIP. The interests of stakeholders in the different components were inventoried. The competences and human resources needed were identified. On this basis a provisional organizational structure was set up. Three ad hoc working groups (H – hydrology/hazard, R – Risk and P – flood management Planning) worked in separate sessions and identified for each activity which competences are needed, which stakeholders should contribute and which experts would need to be involved in the performance of the activities. They also identified the linkages between different activities and proposed a planning to execute the activities. Finally the participants developed a provisional long list of main flood risk management issues.

Activity 5.1 - Training needs analysis and training programme

Conducting training needs analysis (TNA) on flood topics for 4 employees (in total) from the MA and CW and preparing corresponding TNA report, training program (including methods of training) as well as training materials.
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In order to strengthen the capacity of Croatian Waters and the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the implementation of the Floods Directive requirements, the twinning contract foresees that 5 workshops will be held. The purpose of activity 5.1 is to develop the desired content of these workshops by firstly analyze the training needs and secondly by setting up of a training program.

In addition to training material that was handed over to the BC, several presentations by STE’s were given on processes and capacities needed to implement the Floods Directive in their countries. On the basis of this information and with the knowledge of their own situation, the representatives from Croatian Waters (Headquarters and regional offices) and from the Ministry of Agriculture explored their training needs. This resulted in a list of some 20 items, which have been grouped into 4 categories:

  1. Legislation and legal requirements
  2. Governance, institution building and consultation
  3. Knowledge
  4. Structural works

The training program was developed during the first mission (4-8 March 2013) and finalized during the second one (2-5 April 2013). It contains for each of the five workshops the topic of the training, the subjects covered, the target group, the foreseen experts, the estimated number of participants and the tentative dates. The topics of the training workshops will be:

  1. EU reporting for flood directive and knowledge management
  2. Sharing experiences on the implementation of the Flood Directive
  3. Flood risk reduction measures and introduction of climate change scenarios in risk management plans
  4. From risk mapping towards flood risk management planning
  5. Dissemination of pilot project results and the produced guidance documents

17.04. – 16.07.2013 Second quarter period

Activity 2.1

Collecting data for the selected pilot areas, which include (but are not limited to):

  • hydrographic, hydrologic, meteorological, topographic, geodesic and other supporting data,
  • existing or planned regulation and water protection structures,
  • land cover and land use,
  • protection plans of aquatic and water depending eco systems,
  • spatial plans.
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The first activity of component 2 consisted of a working visit to both pilot areas and had the objective to collect various kinds of data. To execute this activity an additional organising effort and a certain flexibility to finance the travel and accommodation costs was needed. The outcome was found positive. The setting allowed the participants to know each other better. Later activities benefitted from this. Information was collected that can only be obtained on the spot. BC and MS experts intensively exchanged information about the characteristics, structure, functioning and management of the hydrological and hydraulic systems in both pilot areas. In discussions it was recognised that different approaches to “build” flood maps may be used. The participants realised the need to find a good balance between (1) data availability and accuracy, (2) mapping objectives and use and (3) the choice of the tool or model to produce the maps. It appears that Croatia to a large extent possesses the data needed. At the end of the field visit to pilot area Neretva delta a number of data of this area were handed over to the STEs in analogue form (maps, reports, permits) and digitally on CDs. By producing a meta-data overview table a necessary first step was set to organise and structure the data collection and transfer. At the end of the working visit it was suggested to create pilot area groups with experts from the regional offices of Croatian waters who are responsible for the two pilot areas and also from the other regional offices. This would help to build the human capacity to produce the maps for the pilot areas and in the meantime create a momentum to prepare the production of maps for other areas of Croatia with potential flood risks.

Activity 2.2.

Preparing digital terrain models (DTM); analyzing the suitability of prepared DTMs for hydraulic analyses and fine tuning them to achieve the required precision in methodology.

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Activity 2.2 was executed as planned during two missions. According to the Floods Directive the flood hazard maps shall show the flood extent, the water depth or water level as appropriate and where appropriate the flow velocity or the relevant water flow. To be able to do so the elevation of the terrain must be known with a certain minimum accuracy. Digital terrain models (DTM) were produced during both missions for both pilot areas. In doing so a number of choices had to be made as regards for instance the method to produce the DTMs and the grid size of the DTMs. The digital terrain models will be used as one of the main inputs for the mathematical hydraulic model that will be used to predict the extent and characteristics of various flood scenarios. In addition a number of crucial aspects were discussed like structured data collection and management and software delivery and installation. The STEs and experts from Croatian Waters worked closely together during both missions. Experts from Croatian Waters gradually felt more comfortable and were more and more able to take the lead in the production of the DTMs. This practical approach resulted in the (semi-) permanent character of two “Flood Hazard” working groups, one for the Adriatic basin with pilot area Neretva delta and the other for the Danube basin with Kupa river as pilot area. The missions were also used to exemplify and discuss with the two working groups the future activities of component 2.

Activity 5.2 - (1st workshop of a total of 3)

Organizing and carrying out 3 workshops on experiences in reducing flood risks for 4 employees (in total) from the MA and CW, in order to improve implementation of Floods Directive requirements. Apart from the MA and CW, all other relevant stakeholders will be invited to participate in the workshops.

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Workshop I

Activity 5.2 consists of 3 workshops on experiences in reducing flood risks in order to improve the implementation of Floods Directive (FD) requirements. One workshop (WS) was executed during this 2nd quarter, namely WS2 on data needs analysis . Various data are already needed to implement the first step of the FD, the preliminary flood risk assessment (PFRA). The three MS showed that they used different methods. The Netherlands skipped the preliminary assessment and decided to produce flood hazard and flood risk maps for the whole Dutch territory. France and Austria used different assessment methods resulting in different areas with possible significant flood risk (APSFR).

To implement the second step of the FD, the production of flood hazard maps (FHM) and flood risk maps (FRM) for APFSR additional data are needed over and above the data needed for the first step. A fruitful exchange took place with MS experts on data management in their countries and at EU level. During the workshop it was concluded that the feasibility to deliver on time must be carefully assessed in particular taking into account the data availability, the human resources necessary to collect, validate and process the data and finally to prepare the maps for the APSFR.

European guidance documents related to the Water Information System for Europe (WISE) were introduced as valuable tool to structure the data in Croatia for the production of the maps, to help to improve floods risk management and to facilitate future reporting by Croatia to the European Commission. The beneficiaries have a good understanding of hazard and flood risk mapping and they feel the necessity to closely collaborate with external institutions for the identification of risk receptors (f.i. population, housing, infrastructure, industry, cultural heritages, agriculture etc.). Many sources of relevant information on risk receptors have been identified. To ensure a sustainable involvement of all the relevant institutions, it has been highlighted that data sharing is mostly of mutual interest and overall beneficial for economic development and innovation. Investment in data structuring and open data flow may help to reduce costs of public services. Some public institutions and agencies recently started to prepare arrangements to exchange data and are setting up structures to implement the EU INSPIRE Directive. Regional public organisations are primarily responsible for the flood mapping in France, Austria and the Netherlands. In Croatia Croatian Waters is the responsible institution. CW has regional branches, but, possibly because of insufficient human capacities, CW envisages to outsource the production of the flood hazard and flood risk maps. It was recommended to develop a policy to structure water related data and prepare administrative arrangements to exchange data between CW and other institutions.

Activity 2.6

Analyzing and validating land use information from several sources (Corine Land Cover, spatial plans, Central Bureau of Statistics, etc.) in order to prepare compilation of land use information which would make it possible to assess flood damage with required precision.

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According to the EU Floods Directive, the flood risk maps must show potential adverse consequences associated with flood scenarios in terms of human health, economy, environment and other information regarded as useful like cultural heritage. Data needed to reach the requirements of the second step of the FD (the mapping) exist. The data are not always readily available and may need to be validated and sometimes post-treated before they can be used for mapping. Managing the existing data, produce metadata catalogues, data validation, data modelling and (the coordination) of new data collection are activities of great importance throughout the whole process in order to produce flood hazard maps and flood risk maps. The technical and practical knowledge for this is available. Sufficient human capacity is of great importance throughout the whole process to manage and maintain the data in a correct, clear and accessible way. The involvement of the regional offices of Croatian Waters and of other public institutions was strengthened. The understanding of the data requirements and needs for flood risk mapping was increased. Arrangements were made for a follow up by the BC like the completion of the evaluation of the risk receptors of the pilot areas, a compilation of a national list of risk receptors and where appropriate also of regional risk receptors, data collection for risk maps, data validation and processing and the set-up of data management.

Activity 2.3

Preparing data on longitudinal and cross sections of watercourses in the format required for hydraulic modelling; integrating prepared data into the DTM.

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The two “hazard” working groups for the pilot areas Kupa river and Neretva delta constructed the cross sections of the selected main surface water bodies in the pilot areas. The cross sections are needed as inputs in the hydraulic model that will be used to predict water levels and flows in flood scenarios. These results can be used for the production of flood hazard maps. The participants gained a good understanding of the Sobek hydrodynamic modelling programme and the associated data analyses for modelling purposes. The preconditions for the installation of the Sobek software were clarified. Arrangements were made about additional data collection. Efforts in data structuring need to be continued, preferably materialising in a proposal for the development of a national/regional (project) database for flood risk modelling and mapping. Issues regarding the commitment and motivation within the Kupa river working group have been discussed and resulted in the appointment of a new team leader.

17.07. – 16.10.2013 Third quarter period

Activity 2.4 (prepare the input for the hydraulic modelling)

Activity 2.4, the collection, preparation and analysis of hydrological and hydraulic data for the development of hydrodynamic models and the simulation of flood scenarios is essential for achieving the final result of Component 2. Basic principles on statistical data analysis for hydrodynamic modelling purposes were explained. It was agreed that flood events with (statistical) return periods of once in the 25, 50, 100 and 1000 years should be simulated. BC experts gained insight in hydrological and hydraulic data analysis, which improved their further understanding of essential preparatory activities for hydrodynamic model development. BC experts have been informed about the delivery of information to install computer model software (Sobek).

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The BC experts performed a large part of the complex analytical work that needed to be done in order to run the flood simulations for hazard mapping. Due to the limited experience with statistical analysis and modelling work and the amount of work that had to be done, arrangements had to be made for the collection of additional hydraulic and hydrological data and for additional analyses during August 2013 and the beginning of September in order to be able to finalise Activity 2.4 during Mission 9 scheduled from 16 to 20 September and to start the execution of Activity 2.5.

Activity 2.5 (prepare and run the models for flood scenarios in pilot areas)

Under this activity models are selected, built and used as a tool to fulfil the requirement of the Floods Directive to produce flood hazard maps showing at least the flood extent and water depth for three scenarios. The models selected for the two pilot areas consist of a combination of a one dimensional (1D) model that simulates the river flow and a two dimensional (2D) model that simulates inundation.

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Activity 2.5 consists of two consecutive missions. The first mission resulted in

  • a nearly fully calibrated 1D-model schematisation for the Kupa river pilot area,
  • a 1D-model schematisation of the Neretva delta pilot area,
  • a sound basis for the production of flood hazard maps,
  • BC experts gained insight in 1D-modelling,
  • the conclusion that the benchmark of Activity 2.4 was reached because the additional data analysis work that was agreed under Activity 2.4 was performed by BC experts before starting Activity 2.5.

Several additional calibration and validation simulations had to be performed before the start of the 2nd mission.

Arrangements with BC experts about this work were made. The second mission resulted in
  • the development of the 2D overland flow schematisations
  • the connection with the 1D river networks
  • almost fully calibrated and validated 1D2D hydrodynamic model schematisations for both pilot areas
  • BC experts gained further insight in 1D2D modelling, which improved their (conceptual) understanding of the relation between flood modelling and hazard mapping.

The model performances appear to be satisfactory for the purpose of this Twinning project. The benchmark of Activity 2.5 was practically achieved. Some model adjustments and calibration and validation simulation analyses should still be done for both models in order to perform the final flood scenario simulations for producing the flood hazard maps. Arrangements with BC experts about this work were made.

The hydrodynamic models for the two pilot areas, produced under Component 2 will be used during Mission 12 to be able to execute Activity 3.1 (production of the flood hazard maps) during that mission.

The earlier established “hazard” working groups “Kupa” and “Neretva” intensively and successfully cooperated with the MS STEs to execute Activities 2.4 and 2.5 and are also closely involved in the execution of Activity 3.1.

Activity 3.1 (prepare flood hazard maps of pilot areas)

Activity 3.1 under Component 3, which must result in the preparation of flood hazard maps (FHM) for the selected pilot areas, consists of 3 missions.

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The first mission resulted in the:

  • definition of the map content and map layout;
  • linkage between Component 2 and Component 3 (modelling output and mapping);
  • preparation of map templates for FHM (flood extent, water depth, flow velocity;
  • preparation of an outline of a technical guidance document of FHM preparation.

The execution of this activity was successfully organised, with a high level of participation from Croatian Waters (CW) headquarters and regional offices. A fruitful exchange took place with MS experts regarding examples of flood risk mapping and all necessary items regarding map preparations were discussed. A common understanding was reached regarding the necessary output of Component 2 (mathematical modelling) and the map content and layout. It was agreed that the maps should be produced for public use at a scale of 1:25.000, stay as simple as possible and be published in a publicly accessible webGIS application. Only some elements of the draft map templates needed to be finalised by CW at a later stage.

Although the focus was on the maps of the pilot areas, it was clear that the maps of the pilot areas will be templates for the FHM to be prepared for all of Croatia to fulfil the requirements of the FD. CW has a good understanding

  • of data collection and data preparation necessary for preparing FHM;
  • that data preparation for FHM should be in line with the EC reporting specifications (WISE) and with INSPIRE;
  • that maps produced for public use differ from those that are used by civil engineers or water experts.

The need of structural data management was discussed in earlier missions and again it became clear that managing the existing data, metadata, data validation, data modelling (and coordinating) of new data collection are activities of great importance throughout the whole process in order to produce flood hazard maps now and in the future..

It was recommended that CW

  • retains the GIS group formed under this mission during the whole project;
  • commences to produce flood hazard maps for other areas of potential significant flood risk (APSFR) than the two selected pilot areas;
  • decides whether mapping will be done for all rivers in designated APSFR or only for “main” rivers.

Activity 3.2 (prepare flood risk maps of pilot areas)

Activity 3.2 under Component 3 must result in the preparation of flood risk maps (FRM) for the selected pilot areas. These maps shall show the potential adverse consequences of thelow, medium and high probability flood scenarios for the population, economic activities, industrial installations and specific protected areas.

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This activity consists of 3 missions and the first mission resulted in:

  • Methods to assess and visualise flood risks
  • A risk receptor list
  • An assessment of the data availability and agreement on the minimum map input
  • Proposal for the content of the risk maps
  • Draft map templates

The understanding was strengthened of flood risk assessment, data requirements and the purpose and use of maps. Croatian Waters should clarify some remaining items, such as whether population data should be aggregated using cadastre data or disaggregated using CORINE data, whether the population should be displayed with classes or with rounded numbers and whether should CW get cartographic typology that is generally used in Croatia. The decision taken by CW during this mission was that flood risk maps will be descriptive and will mainly be produced for public use at national level. Where available, the national data shall be improved by the regional offices of CW (“VGO”).The main goal is to fulfil at least the minimum requirements of the Floods Directive. Component 3 will provide the data to produce flood risk maps for the pilot areas, provided that all necessary data preparation can be done by CW in time.

In order to ensure efficient data exchange between national level and the VGOs, it is necessary to standardise data preparation. This should be done as quickly as possible to start the national process of data preparation, collection and mapping of risk data for areas where Croatia and/or CW concludes (on the basis of the preliminary risk assessment) that potential significant flood risks exist or might be considered likely to occur.

Activity 4.6 (guidance document for the Flood Risk Management Plans)

During the first mission in March 2013 it was proposed to combine the six individual guidance documents mentioned in the Twinning contract into one document under the umbrella of Guidance Document No 6 for the preparation of Flood Risk Management Plans. It was expected that producing an integrated document would lead to a better result than 6 separated guidance documents. It was therefore decided to firstly prepare the umbrella guidance document.

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A plenary meeting was arranged which was attended by a group of about 20 people of Croatian Waters (head office and branches) and the Ministry of Agriculture. In the first part of the meeting both MS and BC presented the current state of and method to produce Flood risk management plans. For the second part the participants were split into 3 groups, who gave their views on 6 statements prepared by the STEs. It was concluded that public consultation/participation is an important issue in the preparation of FRMP and that the FRMP should build on and relate to operational levels of branch offices of Croatian Waters. The plenary session resulted in valuable input for the STEs for the production of the guidance document for the preparation of the FRMP. The ambition is to produce a well-targeted and useful guidance document, adapted to the specific needs of the BC. At the moment this is quite difficult to achieve because the MS have only recently started to produce the FRMPs and the BC is in the preparatory phase.

In the framework of the production of the guidance document three smaller meetings were held with the BC component 4 leader Ms Sanja Barbalić and

  • Ms Biljana Željeznjak, head of the local branch office of Croatian Waters responsible for flood risk management in the pilot area “Kupa river”. It was agreed to further exchange information by email correspondence with the intention to find methods for improvement of the flood risk management in the pilot area.
  • Ms Mirjana Švonja, expert for pilot area “Neretva Delta” and based in the Development Directorate of the Headquarters of Croatian Waters. In this meeting it was agreed that CW starts to produce a prototype of a FRMP for the Neretva delta pilot area.
  • Representatives from the PR department of Croatian Waters. Public participation as part of the process of making the FRMP was discussed. The PR representatives welcomed the suggestion that in Activity 4.5 (Guidance Document for public participation) during Mission 13 in the first week of December 2013 a session in one of the two pilot areas should be organised with local public/stakeholders to experience participatory methods.

Activity 5.2 (2nd workshop: objectives, measures, governance and time schedule)

The subject of the 2nd workshop of Activity 5.2 was the preparation of the Flood Risk Management Plan (FRMP) and, more specifically, the programme of measures that shall be a part of the FRMP. The preparation of the FRMP is the third step in the 6-year planning cycle of the Floods Directive. This step follows - but does not necessarily has to wait for the finalisation of - the second phase, the flood hazard and flood risk mapping. These maps cover the areas with potential significant flood risk identified in the first step. Austria, France and the Netherlands are about to finalise the mapping phase and started to prepare their FRMP. There is no single European methodology for preparing a FRMP. Apart from fixing a timeframe, the FD prescribes the content of the FRMP only in general terms, giving the Member States large flexibility to select areas, define objectives and plan measures to manage flood risks.

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The workshop focused on key points for the development of the FRMP, i.e. objectives in terms of flood management, identification of measures that could be included in a future programme of measures (PoM) and the table of content of a FRMP. The Austrian catalogue of measures was presented as well as the French strategy to develop the FRMPs in France. A detailed plan on structural measures (dams, dykes, etc.) with associated costs and financial resources was presented by Croatian Waters. The participants in the workshop developed a set of potential non-structural measures for each of the following broad categories: public awareness, prevention through land use, flood forecasting and crisis management. Flood forecasting was identified as a high priority category of non-structural measures.
On the second day the working groups continued with the identification of objectives of the FRMP, drafted an outline for the PoM, produced a table of content for the FRMP and developed a governance scheme and time schedule for the production of it.

The general conclusions were:

  • The drafting of the different chapters of the FRMP should start soon, because the draft FRMP should be ready in December 2014.
  • From January 2015 the draft plan will be subject of public consultation.
  • The deadline for the FRMP is 22/12/2015, with a reporting to the EC three months later.
  • Croatian Waters is responsible for the production of the FRMP (Water Act, Article 112).
  • The following recommendations on governance and time schedule were raised:
    1. There is a need for a communication strategy with stakeholders for FRMP preparation, including a stakeholder analysis as it may influence the time schedule.
    2. The FRMP will be closely linked to the preparation of the second River Basin Management Plan under the Water Framework Directive. The two preparation processes shall be coordinated as for the compulsory (minimum) 6-month public consultation on both plans. It was also recommended to reflect on how to optimise the national production of the Strategic Impact Assessment (of the water plans) on the time schedule.

Activity 5.2 (3d workshop: improving flood forecasting and early warning)

On request of the BC partner the subject of the 3rd workshop under Activity 5.2 was focused on the development and improvement of flood forecasting and early warning, the reason for this being that it was earlier concluded that flood forecasting and early warning is a high priority non-structural measure to be included in the Flood Risk Management Plan. This subject has also an international dimension because the territory of Croatia is to a large extent part of International River Basin Districts.

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About 30 representatives participated in the workshop. They were from the Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia (MHSC), the Hydroelectric Company (HEP), Hrvatske vode (Croatian Waters, CW), universities and consultancies. The current situation of flood forecasting and early warning in Austria, France, the Netherlands and Croatia was presented. The participants worked then in mixed groups in three rounds. In the first round they explored wishes and needs to improve the situation. In the second round they identified what CW, MHSC and HEP can do or deliver for this and in the last round they tried to match the needs with the deliverables. It turned out that a very good match is possible.

The main recommendations of the workshop for better flood forecasting and early warning are:

  • More coordination between the main institutions. Subjects for coordination are for instance data exchanges, knowledge, definition of priorities in developments for flood forecasting and initiation of common projects. The workshop proposed that an inter-organisational body of experts should be set up and that cooperation agreements between organisations should be made, especially between CW and MHSC.
  • Development of an integrated collaboration between Croatian partners and neighbouring countries for data and information exchanges.
  • Development of flood forecasting models within EU-funded projects. This should be initiated by MHSC and CW and include an extension of existing flood forecasting models to Sava and Mura river sections in Croatia.
  • Development of a user-friendly system for informing the media and public on the basis of already existing tools (like social networks, smartphones etc.). This can best be done within a partnership between MHSC, CW and NPRD.
  • Take benefit of experts of the universities and consultants and their deep knowledge in flood generation and prediction.

These recommendations may be used in the draft Flood Risk Management Plan for Croatia, which is scheduled to be published by Croatian Waters in December 2014.

17.10. – 16.01.2014 Fourth quarter period

Data management

During the execution of earlier project activities it was recognised that the production of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps would benefit from an improved data collection and transfer. Following instruction from the steering committee it was decided to improve the access to relevant data related to floods within CW via the instrument of a metadata catalogue.

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A concrete result of this additional activity is the installation of a “Geonetwork” software tool on a server of Croatian Waters headquarters. In conjunction with Geonetwork, the Geoserver application has also been integrated, the application is allowing the web visualisation of maps using standardised services. Daily back-up procedures have been set up and the administrator of this tool has been trained to manage this software application and enter metadata. During the testing period a range of metadata will be inserted and the tool will be used among the regional branch offices of Croatian Waters.

Hydraulic model

After final adjustments in the schematisations the models were used for simulations of floods with statistical return period of 25, 50, 100 and 1000 years.

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The models were also used to simulate effects of a dyke breach in pilot area Kupa and to predict a situation where the gate of Opuzen was opened in pilot area Neretva. These kinds of model applications are useful to develop the program of measures.

Flood hazard maps

Draft flood hazard maps for the two pilot areas were produced with output of hydraulic model calculations for flood scenarios, earlier developed map templates and the existing topographic map at a scale of 1:25.000.

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The experts discussed about the number of water flow velocity classes, the usefulness to show water flow directions and the flood duration and the possibility to distinguish between floods inside and outside areas protected from flooding by dykes. The Floods Directive obliges to identify areas of potential significant flood risk (APSFR). These areas are also shown on the maps. For some of these areas the model doesn’t predict a flood even not in the extreme 1 in a 1000 years case. On the other hand the model predicts sometimes a flood in areas which were not identified as APSFR. In working sessions the experts responded to the following questions:

  • How would you define a disclaimer for the hazard maps of the pilot areas? What are the constraints in using the hazard maps?
  • Is the result of the Twinning project valuable for your future work? What is missing?
  • How should the mapping for other areas than the pilot areas be done?

Flood risk maps

A draft flood risk map for the Kupa pilot area could be produced with the earlier developed receptor list, geodatabase, map legend and the draft flood hazard map showing the geographical extent of floods for three scenarios.

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The understanding of European requirements for data reporting was strengthened, the general map content was clarified and the understanding of appropriate data structure and visualisation has improved. The geographic database was filled with available data for the pilot areas. A geographic database structure was set up, following the requirements of the Water Information System for Europe (WISE), the Geographic Information system of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River and the EU-INSPIRE Directive.

Guidance Document to assess measures for flood protection

A two-day bilateral project meeting was organised to achieve a good understanding of a program of measures that shall be part of the flood risk management plans which shall be produced by Croatian Waters in 2014 and 2015.

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The first session of the meeting was a flood management simulation. This is a role-playing game that enables players to become acquainted with the development of integrated flood management strategies. In the second session the experts developed lists of possible measures for the two pilot areas as well as a third area and estimated costs and risk reducing effects of the measures. They distinguished between measures taken by Croatian Waters and measures for which Croatian Waters needs others. The third session contained presentations on the strategic planning in France, cost-benefit analysis in flood risk management, the historical development of protection against floods in the Netherlands and new concepts like “room for the river”. Croatian Waters presented the strategy, the multiannual programme and the planning, prioritisation and financing of flood protection measures in Croatia. The strategy is to achieve the objectives by 2038. The current program runs until 2022. The only available domestic financing source is not sufficient to finance the program and the possibility of co-financing projects from EU funds will be very limited until 2020. The approach for the first programming period is therefore bottom up and pragmatic and focusses on areas that show potential significant flood risk and where measures are already planned. A high-quality Flood Risk Management Plan for the entire country should contain economically prioritised measures to be implemented using EU funding in the next programming period, 2021-2027.

Guidance Document to assess potential impacts of climate change on flood risks.

Experts from Croatian Waters, the Croatian Hydrological and Meteorological Service, the University of Zagreb and the International Sava River Basin Commission discussed together with experts from France and the Netherlands existing climate change scenarios, impacts of climate change on flood risks and existing and planned measures to adapt the water management to impacts of climate change on flood risks.

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The French expert explained that climate change is taken into consideration in the production of maps as a second scenario for coastal floods with a return period of 100 years and that a “pessimistic assumption” of the sea level rise is 60 cm in 2100. A Dutch expert explained why climate change should be considered, which climate change scenarios were developed and how the process was organised since 2006 to start adapting the flood risk management to climate change in the Netherlands. Another Dutch expert presented the concept of Adaptive Delta Management and showed the difference between a classical approach showing what happens if climate changes according to a certain scenario and a “tipping point” approach which should give an answer to the question how much climate change can be coped with. He advised to not only focus on climate change but also consider socio-economic change when developing scenarios for water management.

The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service showed on the basis of past measurements that air temperature and evaporation increased and rainfall, soil moisture, surface run-off and discharge of the river Sava decreased. For the future CMHS expects higher rainfall intensities, more flash floods and more dry periods and heat waves in Croatia. Professor Mirko Orlić from the University of Zagreb concluded in his presentation on coastal flooding that the Mediterranean Sea level is less well studied than the global mean sea level but is also expected to rise in the next century. The deputy secretary of the International Sava River Basin Commission presented an overview of the activities of this Commission related to flood management and climate change and mentioned the following project.

In discussion it was concluded that it would be difficult for Croatia to already take into account the potential effects of climate change on flood risks in the first Flood Risk Management Plan, due in 2015. It was recommended that the Minister of Agriculture, responsible for water management, installs an independent ad-hoc scientific advisory commission to assemble the current knowledge on climate change and its expected effects on Croatian hydrological regimes. This commission should also advise if and how the government could take into account these effects (if any) in the national flood risk management. This would allow Croatian Waters to develop adaptation measures in the second Flood Risk Management Plan, due in 2021.

Guidance Document on participation of stakeholders and public.

A project meeting was prepared with a theoretical character to deal with definitions, objectives, methods and experiences with public and stakeholder participation as well as with the legal obligations. To bring theory into practice a stakeholder meeting was organised in Karlovac, where interim results of the project were presented.

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The maps showing flood hazards and risks in the pilot area Karlovac/Kupa were found to be useful for example for regional rescue services and physical planning. Possible flood risk reduction measures presented were briefly discussed and followed by an interactive session (“Sketch and Match”) where participants developed more ideas and possible priorities for flood risk reduction in the area. The meeting helped to create a good understanding and basis for the implementation of the European Floods Directive and can contribute to future public and stakeholder participation to prepare good Flood Risk Management Plans.

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the implementing partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union
Last update:
7th April 2014
EU IPA 2010 TWINNING PROJECT ˝Development of Flood Hazard Maps and Flood Risk Maps˝
January 2013 – April 2014