Invitation for start-up session International Handbook for Flood Emergency Response

Bart Vonk, a Senior Advisor in Flood Risk Management at Rijkswaterstaat, has sent an invitation to join a start-up meeting for creating an International Handbook for Flood Emergency Response. If you are interested, he has asked to let them know via this registration form , if possible before June 7.

Bart provided the following information and said was happy to include this invitation on the European Working Group website.

As we all know, floods are posing serious threats to societies worldwide. When not managed properly, they can lead to disastrous consequences, including loss of human life, damage to property and infrastructure, economic losses, and social insecurity.

Over the years, countries around the world experiencing frequently flooding, have developed different successful flood emergency approaches.

Although there are numerous national country-specific handbooks and diagnostic tools on flood emergency management, there is no international standard yet that provides a universally accepted approach, or a shared international flood risk emergency perception between different areas in the world.

Therefore, in addition to the existing handbooks, an international handbook for flood emergency response is proposed to highlight best practices and identify common approaches on flood emergency response between countries. To come to a successful development and implementation of the handbook it is important that it is demand-driven. So the handbook should provide guidelines that matches countries own practice of Flood Risk emergency response.

Until now Rijkswaterstaat, the executive office of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, together with the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA) has been leading the start-up to develop such an international handbook on flood emergency response. In the last past year we got soft commitments from several partners to collaborate on this initiative. Since this is also a theme in the European funded Interreg project Polder2C’s  we have a small budget to make a step forward.

The first step is to invite you to join us in a start-up session on June or 28. Goal of this start-up session is to discuss the goal and the content of the handbook and to give you an opportunity to consider if and how you want to participate.

Working Group Webinar on temporary / mobile / demountable flood defences

The EUCOLD Working Group on Levees and Flood Defences  will organise this year two webinars, after the success of the previous one in 2021 on animal activity on levees.
The first one will be held on October 6th, from 11:00 to 13:00 CET, on the topic of temporary, mobile, demountable barriers (or defense structures).  You can now already add the date in your calendar.
The webinar will include different presentations and a large part of discussion involving the audience.
Please contact us by email, before May 15th, to propose a presentation topic, as we will need to discuss the program during the ICOLD Congress in Marseille at the end of May.
Let us also know if you have suggestions / demands regarding the topic for the next webinar that we hope to organize before the end of the year.

Picture from the International Levee Handbook

Short Course on the risk analysis of levee systems

Short courses will be given on the side-lines of the ICOLD Congress in Marseille.

One of these course will present the international approach to risk analysis of levee systems described in chapter 5 of the International Levee Handbook and its French version through “Études de dangers” (Hazard studies). Illustrated by several examples, it will address the following aspects:

  • Introduction and general framework of the risk analysis of levee systems
  • Functional analysis. Failure mode analysis
  • National and regional flood risk analysis approaches in the United Kingdom
  • A practical application to Hazard Studies in France: the example of SYMADREM (Rhone River)
  • Use of the results of the risk analysis applied to the Authion levee system (Loire River)
  • Conclusion – current practices and development needs. Decision making support

More details  on the Congress web page : 

Failure paths for levees – A report from ISSMGE TC on Levees

Levee breaches are often the result of a combination of mechanisms, which may happen simultaneously, and/or successively. These interactions are complex and difficult to anticipate in design and assessment as well as during a forensic analysis of an actual breach. The ISSMGE TC201 has published a report on the failure paths (that can also be called failure scenarios). It is available on the ISSMGE Onlline Library:

The basis for this report is a compilation of case histories, and of failure paths used for assessment and design. Part A of the report provides an overview of the key concepts in this report and presents the proposed failure tree and overview of important aspects per event in the tree. The section finishes with a discussion and recommendations. Part B contains the collection of the contributed failure paths for case studies, these failure paths are illustrated in the framework. Part C contains the collection of contributed failure paths that are used for assessment and design. A glossary of key terms used is added at the end of the report.

ICOLD 2022 Congress

The final bulletin for the Marseille 2022 ICOLD congress can be downloaded :

Save the date, Feb 3rd, 2022 | International webinar | Maas floods: sharing Dutch experiences from July 2021

Save the date | International webinar | Maas floods: sharing Dutch experiences from July 2021
Date: Thursday February 3, 2022 | 15:00 – 17:00 CET
In July 2021 in the Meuse and Rhine Region (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands), an extreme precipitation
led to flash floods and the highest ever measured discharges in the River Meuse and adjacent regional
river systems, leading to loss of life (Belgium and Germany) and very significant damages. Fortunately
there were no casualties in the Netherlands. However, damage to houses, infrastructure and our water
system was immense and estimated at 1.5 billion euro in the Netherlands alone.
A half year after this event, we have been able to evaluate this flood and identify lessons to learn. We
have repaired most of the damages caused to our water system and are now ready for a next high
water discharge. Still, many of inhabitants in the flood affected area are still traumatised and struggling
Save the date
We, the Dutch water managers of Rijkswaterstaat and the Regional Water Authorities, together with
many other stakeholders, aim to share our experiences with these floods from various viewpoints. Our
goal is to be able to share and discuss practices and knowledge. We are particularly interested in tips
and tricks on how to best prepare for and deal with a next flood.
Please mark the International webinar ‘Maas floods: sharing Dutch experiences from July 2021’ on
February 3th, 2022 (15:00-17:00 CET) in your agenda and register online. In the first hour we will share
our experiences with you, and in the second part we invite you to discuss how we can improve our
flood risk management in break-out rooms. More details on the programme will follow in the new
Are you interested? Please sign up via the following link:

Seminar on protections against overtopping erosion

Abstract Submission Deadline to the 4th international seminar was extended. For those interested, you can still send abstracts by December 20th, 2021 to You can also consult updated information about key dates and templates at

A webinar based on the ILH on the role of levees in flood risk management

CIRIA is organising a webinar about the role of levees on flood risk management, based on the International Levee handbook. All details can be found on the event web page. Please disseminate the information in your contacts.

ICOLD annual meeting for 2021

The program for the annual ICOLD meeting (15-19 Nov. 2021) is available, you can find it here : ICOLD 2021 program

You also can find more information and registration information on the dedicated web site :

The ICOLD TC on Levees will hold a workshop on Novembre 18th from 12:00 to 13:30 (Paris time). I hope we will  “meet” many of us there.

Spillways on River Levees

The English translation of a previous French handbook about spillways on river levees is now ready. It can already be pre-ordered as a physical book, and it will be available as an open access ebook from October 1st.

More information on :

See also the flyer.


A new paper on levee investigations is available

Dear collegues

My new paper on levee investigations <A new levee control system based on geotechnical and geophysical surveys
including active thermal sensing: A case study from Poland >

is available next 50 days in Engineering Geology journal for free.

link to download

Best regards,

Krzysztof Radzicki

FLOODrisk conference papers available online

The repository for the FLOODrisk conference papers is now open. You can find read and download all the conference papers in it.

There are different ways to brwose the papers, by author, title or subject. The main web site for the conference is sill open, and the program by sessions ( may help you identify papers of interest for your own activity.

Peat soil – often breaks

In the west of the Netherlands a peat “dike” failed today

The original soil is the core of the dike, the surrounding soil has subsided and oxidized.

The dike probably failed due to the fact it dried out, the recent abundant rainfall is only the trigger.

The polder consists of agricultural land

A first step in trying to understand and document what occurred between July 12th and July 23rd in the Meuse river basin, and the effects on the Netherlands

A first step in trying to understand and document what occurred between July 12th and July 23rd in the Meuse river basin.

This was an exceptional weather event. However it was correctly predicted.

In Germany in the Eifel region (mainly tributaries to the Rhine) they had 3 months of rainfall in 36 hours and in Belgium in the Ardennes (tributaries to the Meuse river) they had 2 months of rainfall in 24 hours. People had been warned in most cases. Both the emergency services and the public clearly underestimated the consequences. There was no clear messaging.


Messaging should be timely, specific, in the language people speak, and should be understandable. People have to be able to relate to previous events to understand the predicted event, to be able to take the proper measures so stay safe.

Institutional changes are often needed after a flood. Especially when the time needed for a flood alert and a proper response is extremely short. In the Netherlands, the tidal hydrologists were merged with the meteorologists in the same organisation after the 1953 flood (for storm surges). The Czech Republic has set up centres where the emergency services were added to a team of hydrologists and meteorologists to cope with flash floods since the 2003 flood event.


Most of the damage in the Netherlands is from overland flow/flash floods from streams in valleys. In Germany and Belgium, this was also the case.

Institutional errors were made in the messaging to the public, in the construction and operation of reservoirs and probably in spatial planning. The Netherlands has very clear spatial planning rules for major rivers, but is rather bad at the enforcement of these rules. The Netherlands can learn a lot from Belgium, where they have recently enforced spatial planning rules in flood prone areas vigorously.


In the Netherlands at the gauging station Sint Pieter (near Maastricht), at km 10 on the Meuse River in the Netherlands a discharge of 3260 m3/s was measured. This is the highest discharge measured since the start of formal measurements in 1911. Other high is discharges this century all occurred in the winter:  December 22nd of 1993, 3120 m3/s. January 1st 1926 ~3000 m3/s and January 1995 2870 m3/s.

The previous highest summer discharge was about 1000 m3/s in 1980.


In the Netherlands in one town, Valkenburg the direct damage is about 200 million euros and the indirect damage is about the same amount. In Germany and Belgium, damages are a lot higher. The damages to the railway systems is already above one billion euro’s.


This extreme discharge on the Meuse River has a return period of about 100 years (for the winter statistics) at km 10 Borgharen[1]. However, this was a summer discharge. Rijkswaterstaat, KNMI and Deltares are, currently investigating what the relationship is between climate change and this flood event.


The flood wave was exceptionally short and high. This means that the water levels downstream corresponded with return periods of 25 years (Venlo, km 108) and 10 years at Gennep (km 155)


The measures of the large project the Meuse Works were largely effective. The Meuse Works was a complex project. It was a mixture of sand and gravel mining project including landscaping afterwards, room for the river measures and heightening and strengthening of dikes constructed hastily in 1995 and 1996.

The dikes constructed in 1995 and 1996 after the floods of 1993 and 1995 removed 40 % of the flood plain from the river. Some of these dikes have been built perpendicular to the flow of the river. So these dikes obstruct the flow of the river.

This means that at some locations especially at Maastricht the observed river levels were a lot higher than in 1993, while the recent discharge in 2021 was only about 100 m3/s higher (an effect of less than 10cm). At other locations, the increased river flow was also influenced by changes in the relationship between the tributaries in the Netherlands and the main river. In the Meuse Valley the Netherlands seem to be protecting a lot of pasture and seem to forget the cities and the national infrastructure (highways and railways).


The Water Management Centre for the Netherlands (WMCN) correctly predicted the water levels in the Meuse River, both the expected water levels and the time of the peak discharge at each spot of the river. There were 21 bulletins, during the peak discharge three to four (if a correction was needed) per day. Some figures were manually adjusted because of backflow due to flow from the tributaries, also some recent room for the river measures were not included in the model and due to weirs which were being refurbished and could not be completely opened. Instead of waiting for corrected data, the regional water authority in Limburg carried out their own predictions, which were more erroneous than those from Rijkswaterstaat (especially in the timing of the peak). These alternative “facts” also caused confusion within the teams responsible for crisis management.


Normally new models go on line on or before October 1st the start of the winter season. The new model (not yet online) is currently being tested at Deltares has already been corrected for the room for the river measures and can use real data for the flow from tributaries (instead of statistical relations).


The national committee on floods provides information on the impact of the flooding. The national government and the water boards provide the input for this information.


The regional water authority in Limburg[2] and Rijkswaterstaat were heavily involved in the flood fighting. Rijkswaterstaat had to sandbag a spot on a canal dike which had flooded a village (Meersen). The local population also initiated a number of measures. Sandbags were often placed where dike had not been reinforced yet to comply with the new standards, to combat piping and probably also slope stability or to reinforce mobile flood barriers (against uplift). Some people built their own dikes to protect their houses in the flood plain (e.a. at Horn for ten houses). There the temporary dike made up of not compacted top soil and plastic foil failed. The municipality had helped. The regional water authority was not involved. None of the sandbags had an influence on the water levels downstream in the provinces of North-Brabant (with the city of ‘s Hertogenbosch) and Gelderland where you have the largest population densities. This was also due to the very short discharge wave, less than a week.


Other regional water authorities and Rijkswaterstaat personnel assisted in the Limburg. The request for assistance was done through the union of water boards / union of regional water authorities ( All assistance was coordinated through STOWA (from their vacation locations abroad).

The national committee on floods (LCO) also provided personnel from the Crisis Team for Flood Defences. The men and women from the military were very effective in sand bagging an eroded weir maintained by Rijskwaterstaat and in sandbagging a number of dikes for the regional water authority. After the floods they have started removing fallen trees from the tributaries to the Meuse.


Every flood wave on a river causes damages both above the water line and below the water line. Some of the damage has been tackled through emergency measures as sandbags. The winter season will start within two and half months. This means all dikes, structures and the riverbed have to be inspected and the most important damages have to be repaired before October 1st 2021. Some of the damages occurred to structures where we knew there was an issue for over twenty years.

One example is the sluice gate of the “Zuid Willemsvaart” a 19th century structure. This set of gates is too low. More than 2 meters of water overtopped the gates.

This canal is directly connected to the Albert Canal in Belgium. There is no flood risk in the Netherlands, which is why this problem had not yet been tackled. However houses in Genk (50 km away) in Belgium along the canal were flooded due to increased discharges from Belgium and the Netherland to the canal. Our water systems do not stop at the border. Closer cooperation is needed.


The Meuse river and the tributaries reacted differently to the extreme rainfall event than we expected. This means we need to look into flood risk for the whole river system including the tributaries. Cooperation with Belgium and Germany is advised. For the Netherlands this means we have to look at the main river from Eijsden (km 0) until Keizersveer (km 250) and we should not forget cross border flooding.


This flood is a good warning for everyone who has built in the flood plain since 1995. There are more than 2500 houses now when in 1995 there were only a few hundred. People are not protected and by law should not get their damages reinbursed from the disaster fund if the house was built after 1995.


Since 2017 all flood defences are allowed to fail at a certain agreed level. For each and every flood defence this protection level has been described in the water act (in the last update from 2014), see the Fundementals on Flood Defences[3]. This means that a number of the measures prepared since 2010 for the Meuse river, the “systeem maatregelen” no longer seem fit for purpose. These measures were devised as a compensation for the fact that formally the 45 former “dike rings” / dike systems along the Meuse will no longer be considered part of the flood plain. As mentioned before this removes 40% of the flood plain from the river and endangers cities like Maastricht. The Netherlands seem to want give pastures almost the same level as protection as neighbouring cities. The former provincial government (2 years ago) wanted to correct this. The current provincial government seems not to want any changes.


Due to climate change, a larger part of the valley will become flood prone. A 6000 m3/s means about 60 km2 should be included in the formal flood plain. Floods in this area also protect the cities downstream by lowering the design water levels by about 30 cm. This will require new spatial planning measures, since the population has to be informed of this flood risk.


Two years ago the province of Limburg has drafted a good plan to tackle this issue by removing or lowering the status of 22 of 45 dikes systems along the river. This means the province focusses on the cities and towns along the river, which need extra protection. It is easier and more acceptable to evacuate a village of 1000 people than a city of 20 000. The population who live along the river initiated these plans, they prefer a good view, and a few scares, and maybe a flood than huge dikes in front of their houses. This situation is different from Amsterdam (Durgerdam) where a few hundred people do not want to reinforce a dike (because it is next to their house) but the dike protects more than half a million people.

The Delta commissioner in his response to the plans by the province does not seem to understand that the cities of Maastricht and ‘s-Hertogenbosch are at stake, including the national infrastructure (highways and railroads). If the Meuse valley is to remain liveable and climate proof urban developments should be planned in the main cities and towns and not in the flood plain which is still largely empty.


The problems in the tributaries to the Meuse River have been neglected for a long time. Every ten to twenty years there is a flood event. People get used to it, but the impact of these flood events will increase over time and due to climate change. At a certain point people, start dying in large numbers, as we can see in Belgium and Germany. E.g. people expected a larger discharge with water levels about 3 meters higher than normal, not 7 meters. Planners have to think through the worst credible floods. An event with a return period of 1000 years is not un-imaginable. You have to know if the event is deadly or not before you allow a new urban development or even the construction of one single house, which is not adapted for a flood event.


Another reason why the impact of the floods were higher may be the construction of reservoirs for rainfall events with return periods of 10 and 25 years in the tributaries to the Meuse River in the Netherlands. When there is a rainfall event the managers of the water systems should – discharge – the hold on to the water in fields, then use reservoirs and then again discharge. In this way the tributaries react naturally to the high precipitation event and they discharge into the main river the Meuse before the peak flows have reached from the Ardennes in Belgium[4].


As a researcher, a large flood event is also an event to learn from:

  • What is the impact of climate change? If we cool the climate by two degrees in our climate model for the data of week of July 15th (1 degree more than the current change in temperature), will the same precipitation event be seen?
  • Understanding why this precipitation caused this particular flood wave.
    • Looking into the precipitation events just weeks before and after the event,
      • Can we see a pattern?
      • Were the systems and the soil full or empty?
      • Was this the worst case, if we move the precipitation event 50 km to the west, to coincide with a larger part of the Meuse basin, what will happen?
    • Understanding how the flow wave moves through the river
      • This was an event with a short duration, the upstream areas in the Netherlands and Belgium were hit the worst, in the downstream areas the discharge wave was uneventful
      • Why do datasets for the same model of the river, provides such immense differences in design wate levels (sometimes almost a meter), is this the effect of the discharge wave and the relationship with the tributaries?
      • Should we consider both the height and width of discharge waves in the probabilistic modelling for determining hydraulic boundary conditions?
    • Understanding the relationship between the tributaries and the river
      • Due we understand the relationship for each tributary,
      • Was this the worst case?
      • How can we modify the relationship to reduce damages? Is this wise with expected climate change?
    • What happened below the water level
      • Was there a large bed flow
      • Where can we observe sedimention and erosion
      • Do we understand why this happened
      • Is this a reason to worry,
        • Are control structures in danger due to erosion or debris?
        • Are flood defences in danger due to erosion (deep scour holes can destabilise a dike)
        • Are flood defences in danger due to sedimentation and debris, because of higher water levels
      • Where do we see damage to structures and flood defences, can we explain the reason they were damaged?.
        • Is damage only due to overtopping, e.g. for a weir
        • Where was piping and seepage observed ?
      • In 2007-20014 chocking points on the river were modelled, did they occur, or was the flood wave too low at these sites?


[1][1] The Meuse rivier starts at kilometer 0 on the border at Eijsden in the Netherlands, this is about at km 700 if you start counting at the source in France on the Langres Plateau. the nuber stop at about 60 km before the sea in the Amer, the Rhine/Meuse Estuary.



[4] Actualisatie beschrijving laterale toestroming Maas, Rolf van der Veen, 2018 and Van regen tot Maas. Grensoverschrijdend waterbeheer in droge en natte tijden’  Marcel de Wit, Uitgeverij Veen Magazines (ISBN 978-90-8571-230-5).

A new document on “Methods and techniques for reinforcing and repairing protection levees”

A new report has been approved by the CFBR Executive Board, and is published on the French  committee’s website, “Documentation” tab:

Methods and techniques for reinforcing and repairing protection levees

This is the deliverable of the CFBR “Levees” Working Group. It is made up of two parts:
– a first, “General framework”:
– a second, “Technical data sheets”:

This accomplishment is the result of many years of work. At the moment this document is only available in French, but the working group  is now starting the process of translation into English, with the aim to have a first part ready for the Marseille ICOLD congress.

Webinar on Animal Burrowing – feedback

It was good to see so many at the workshop 30 June (67 people in total). Some presentations are already on the website (see, the others will follow as soon as possible.

The speakers were excellent and we are very grateful to them. Hopefully we will be able to have another event later this year. In the meantime, if you want to be kept up to date on news from the Working Group please sign up for membership to the website (see

FLOODrisk online conference 22-24 June 2021

The FLOODrisk conference starts tomorrow. A very attractive program including plenary sessions, parallel sessions ans special sessions has been prepared; see it here :

Join us and let’s share knowledge and experiences!

Webinar on Animal Burrowing (30/6/21) – Final program

The webinar on Animal Burrowing will take place on June 30.

11:00 CET          Welcome
11:05                  1. English perspective on managing badgers in embankments (Paul Arnold, EA)
11:20                  2. Detection of cavities in levees and forelands caused by beavers (Torsten Heyer, TU Dresden; Michael Arndt, Secon Systems)
11:40                  3. Experiences with the beaver during high water 2021 (Wijnand Evers, Waterboard Drents Overijsselse Delta)
11:55                  4. A glimpse of another animal active in and around levees (Heleen Keirsebelik, UAntwerpen)
12:00                  Exchanging thoughts and experiences on animal activity on levees
12:25                  Feedback on webinar and poll for future topics

Please send an email to to receive a MS Teams-invitation!
Adrian, Patrik & Rémy

2019 Japan flood reports are published

The reports of levee failures, etc. in 2019 Typhoon Hagibis is published in English by the Japanese Geotechnical Society. The reports are open access.
Including, “Levee damage and bridge scour by 2019 typhoon Hagibis in Kanto Region, Japan”

Backslope erosion by overtopping at the Naka River levee (Photo : Hirotoshi Mori)

A WG webinar on animal activity on levees

We are very pleased to announce the first webinar of the Working Group on Levees and Flood Defences of the European Club of ICOLD, about animal activity on our levees, which will be held June 30th from 11:00 to 12:30 CET. Please email Patrik if you want to attend. He will send you an appointment which you can also forward to any others you think would be interested.  Three presenters will be given the floor to share experiences and expertise with respect to prevention, detection, assessing severity, repairing, regulation and any other issue related to animal activity challenging the integrity of levees, in particular from the levee managers’ point of view. After these presentations, a large part of the session will be devoted to discussion and further exchanges between all of the participants.

Please email  Adrian/Patrik/Rémy by Friday 4 June

  1. If you would like to be a presenter for the 30 June webinar. Presentations will be up to 15 minutes long. Depending on the number of responses we may have to select who will be a speaker.
  2. We are considering organising a second knowledge sharing session in autumn of this year. Let us know what topics you would like to hear about it.

Adrian Rushworth

Patrik Peeters

Rémy Tourment

Photo source and copyright :

Special session in the FLOODrisk conference on risk based decision making for levees

During the FLOODrisk 2020 conference (happening in June 2021) , a special session  ‘Risk Informed Decision Making for Levees and Flood Defences’ will take place virtually on Tuesday 22 June 2021 from 13:30 to 15:00. This special session is organised by EUCOLD LFD WG and ICOLD TC members.

Special Session: Risk Informed Decision Making for Levees and Flood Defences

For more information visit the Special Session Hub. To access this page, you will need to be registered online. If you haven’t done so yet, tou need to  Register Now Here.

Grass roots

Very interesting post in Linkedin about grass roots, which shows we still have a lt to learn on this topic :  link

Discovery of ancient levee in the Netherlands

Near the town of Vlaardingen, remnants have been found of an ancient construction that probably served as a low levee. The construction was about 1 metre in height, at least 20 metres long, and consisted of a dual construction consisting of wooden piles and braided willow branches, that was subsequently filled with earth.

The levee was probably constructed over 2000 years ago, during the 2nd century BC. As such, it is probably the most ancient levee discovered so far in the Netherlands.


See  for some pictures.

FLOODrisk conference

The FLOODrisk international conference on Food Risk management, postponed from 2020, is now scheduled from 21st to 25th June 2021 online. You can find all details here: 

Registration is open.

EGU virtual conference – Submissions deadline January 20th.

I received from a colleague  this information that I wanted to share with you:

DO NOT FORGET THAT… Is that time of the year were we get crazy and excited about submitting abstracts for EGU ! Deadline for abstract submission is extended to the 20th of January 2021, 13:00 CET. This 2021 promises an even more exciting event as we started our session on “Advances in modelling, failure assessment and monitoring of levees and other flood defences”. We want to start this session as a tradition for dikes and other flood defences practioners and researchers to have the opportunity to meet in a yearly basis and share our findings and relate to other world known flood risk experts. Please submit your abstract and contribute to the start of this hopefully yearly tradition for flood risk and flood resilience enthusiasts.  Please feel free to forward the invitation to any dike enthusiast who you think may be interested either in submitting something or attending to the session. Looking forward to your abstract submission !

In situ overflowing experiments at Living Lab Hedwige-Prosperpolder by POLDER2C’s

POLDER2C’s has started with the execution of levee overflow tests near the Dutch-Belgian border. Besides well-maintained levee sections, we aim to test anomalies like presence of a cliff, animal burrows and a tree.

Patrik Peeters
Flanders Hydraulics Research

Presentation of the French version of the ILH

The French association of levee managers France Digues organises a presentation of the French edition of the International Levee Handbook. Because of the COVID19 situation, this event, which was supposed to happen in Paris as a physical meeting, will beheld online so more people will potentially be able to attend. More details here : Programme de la matinée JT Guide ILH  and inscriptions here : Formulaire d’inscription

Reflections on the ICOLD LE TC meeting September 2020

The ICOLD Levees Technical Committee (LE TC) 2020 met over the last three days of September for our 2020 meeting. These are some of my personal reflections.

The current restrictions in response to COVID19 were overcome by having a teleconference on each of the days. I think the importance of Levees worldwide was seen by the range of countries that joined the meeting despite the large time differences for some. We were also pleased to Welcome Michael Rogers, the current President of ICOLD, to one of our meetings. Each day had a different theme.

Day 1: On the Monday we considered the Levees situation report. The report is well developed containing information, including a section with detailed information about levees within many countries. The version of the Levee Situation Report tabled at the meeting was approved.

Day 2: The focus for Tuesday was the dams-levees comparison report. Chapter include design, construction and inspections. Draft chapters were considered with feedback for the authors. The report is developing into a useful source and signpost for information and will help learning across dam and levee practitioners.

Day 3: The Wednesday meeting considered general topics. I particularly noted the importance of effective national backing groups to support TC members as the reports are nearing completion. It was also an opportunity for suggestions for future bulletins.

I was again impressed by the importance of levees across the world combined with the knowledge and enthusiasm of those managing them.

Adrian Rushworth

Webinar on International Levee Databases

Last week TU Delft hosted a webinar on their International Levee Performance Database, as well as similar initiatives from France and the USA. The webinar also discussed the applications of such databases and the necessity for closer collaboration in developing them.

Over 150 participants joined online from around the world, representing private consultancies, academic and research institutes and local and national authorities.

A recording of the event can be found through the below link, as well as links to videos on the use of the ILPD;

ILPD in general:                                                                                 
Assessment and design (In Dutch,with English subtitles)
Crisis management:                                                                         
Data Science:                                                                                       

We hope to continue this initiative, and welcome any comments or suggestions through our email:

I.S. Rivers conference

The 4th International Conference  IS. Rivers will take place from June 21 to 25, 2021.
I.S.Rivers is an international conference focused on research and action in the service of large rivers in Europe and the world, a meeting between scientists and practitioners.
The French National Dams Committee CFBR is a partner of this event. More details here :

SafeLevee webinar on failure databases

Dear colleagues,

Over the last 5 years the SAFElevee project team at TU Delft has investigated levee failures and has set up an open-access database (the international levee performance database – ILPD) with over 1500 levee failure and performance cases.

You are warmly invited to attend a webinar on the SafeLevee project and ILPD database.
The event will be held on Friday 25th September from 13.30 – 15.30 CEST, and the program outline is as follows (further details will be made available at a later stage).

Block 1: SAFElevee, the international levee performance database and its use for levee managers

  • Introduction to the program, SAFElevee project and International Levee Performance Database
  • The use of levee performance information for levee managers (design, crisis management etc.) – 4 short videos on this theme have been prepared by HKV consultants and will be shown
  • Open discussion on use by levee managers with contributions from Rijkswaterstaat and other levee managers and participants.


Block 2: International collaboration in collecting, sharing and analysing levee failures

  • Short Introduction (Bas Jonkman, TU Delft)
  • Presentations by other similar database initiatives (EDF, France and others)
  • Panel and open discussion on future use and sharing of levee failure and performance data

Please confirm your attendance by emailing, and feel free to share with others you think may be interested. More details will be provided to attendees prior to the event, including a detailed agenda and access details.

Free ICFM webinar on flood events China, JP, USA (26 Aug)

Under the title “The Flood Challenge to Resilience” ICFM will share the experience with (i) major flooding in China that affected/s millions of people and hundreds of river basins; (ii)  flooding in Japan caused by truly extraordinary amounts of rain falling over the island of Kyushu; and (iii) flooding in Michigan (US) that interacted with aging infrastructure and resulted in failure of two dams.

Three highly regarded speakers – Professor Jun XIA, Professor Toshio KOIKE and Dr. Molly FINSTER –  will introduce these topics and set the stage for the discussion by the audience. See the webinar invitation/registration page at