FLOODrisk 2016 as an interactive Conference – Workshops
FLOODrisk 2016 was not just a sit-down-and-listen Conference, but also included a number of special sessions in workshop format, where participants could actively exchange views and share knowledge and best practices. FLOODrisk 2016 included seven of these sessions, as described below.
EU Floods Directive Implementation
Experiences from the first round of Floods Directive Implementation were gathered, including preliminary hazard assessment, hazard and risk maps as well as FRM-plans. With the second round of Implementation starting soon, the aim was to gather input for an improved implementation of the second round. Several issues were mentioned, amongst them coherence with other (nature) regulations, climate, uncertainties, critical infrastructure and many others.
One aspect of interest to the dams community is the fact that thousands of historical and recent floods are now documented through the preliminary hazard assessments of the 1st Floods Directive implementation round.
Community on implementation of FRM plans
Besides the policy aspects of the Floods Directive, its resulting FRM-measures need to be implemented/constructed, taking into account spatial planning issues and a range of actors and actor interests. Setting up a new community on implementing FRM projects seems to be desirable. Such a community might also provide interesting lessons for dam construction and modification projects, and vice versa.
Nature based solutions
Given the need to reconcile FRM- and nature regulation requirements, this is certainly an issue of interest, especially since natural processes are often relatively dynamic, requiring different (non-traditional) approaches to monitoring and maintenance.
Risk model validation
Risk models are the key to risk-based and thereby efficient decision making, both in FRM and dams applications. Two related lessons were the fact that it is crucial to have insight in the model sensitivities, as well as in the quality of the input data.
Modelling of breaches and failure mechanisms
Investigations, often experiments, were presented on both revetment (grass, gravel) and breaching research. Gathering knowledge about previous (near-)failures and providing databases was considered to be important; this is relevant for both the levees and dams community. Also, partners were invited to join in with breaching and inundation-damage field experiments.
Communities of practice
Obstacles like lack of funding were a hot topic in the discussion, but one should not overlook the opportunities that exist (policy development, implementing new regulations and their FRM measures, building-with-nature). In the end, it is the intrinsic value of a Community and the need to share knowledge and practices that determine the success of a Community, as might be demonstrated by both the FLOODrisk community and ICOLD.
Communities of practice in emergency management
Disaster management is an important issue for the European Commission, and the Commission begins to recognize the importance of Communities and Science-Policy-Interfaces, especially on Secure-Safe-Resilient Societies. The challenge is that decisions must be prepared and taken under time pressure, while disaster management includes a wide range of disciplines and actors, including dam and levee owners, but also actors not at all familiar with dams and levees.