Flood on the maps

Source(s)
Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, National Research Institute

According to the WHO, since 1998, more than 2 billion people worldwide have been affected by floods – directly or indirectly. The European Environment Agency reports that between 1980 and 2017, the economic losses due to floods in the European Union alone amounted to nearly 160 billion Euro. Besides the construction and development of flood prevention infrastructure, the risk management of floods is an important tool for combating floods. The most important element for assessing and verifying flood risks are the flood hazard maps and the flood risk maps, developed as part of the project by the consortium led by the IMGW-PIB. Maps are available on the website: https://wody.isok.gov.pl/hydroportal.html.

What was the basis for creating the maps?

Flood hazard maps (FHM) and flood risk maps (FRM) were developed on the basis of the provisions of the Floods Directive, the provisions of which were implemented into Polish legislation by the Water Law Act. In turn, the detailed requirements for the preparation of maps were described in the relevant regulation. The maps have to be updated every six years. Their image results in flood risk management plans and actions to improve the country’s level of flood protection.

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What are flood hazard maps, and what do flood risk maps present?

The maps are an indicator of the threat and risk of flooding in a given area. Each of us is able  to analyze hazard maps, to understand where and how high water levels are expected during a flood. Flood risk maps, on the other hand, provide information on the potential flood losses and negative effects of floods.

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What were the essential qualifications necessary to implement the project?

The skills of hydraulic and hydrological modeling, working with GIS software, knowledge and experience in hydrology, as well as the ability to operate under time pressure were particularly important. Last year was unusual due to the pandemic and implementation of remote working in IMGW-PIB. All the more, I would like to thank all the specialists that they organized time in a way that enables them to complete the project to relevant standards, often reconciling it with the presence of all household members. The team that I have the pleasure to work with and lead are experts with the highest skills.

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