Recently severe flooding has occurred in several parts of Europe, both as localised flash floods and as basin-wide floods on major river systems. By their nature floods are generated by the random coincidence of several meteorological factors, but human factors can also impact the severity and consequences of the events. Flood forecasting systems have advanced to use the latest developments in monitoring, communications and computing technology. However, important issues remain concerning both the detailed understanding and simulation of processes involved in flood propagating and also the best practice for management of the river and its catchment.
Following concern expressed by several Member States, DG XII organized an expert workshop on 17 May 1995 in Brussels to discuss the current state of the art, and the research needs in the area of river flood management. A working group was established at the end of the workshop to draft out the content of a Concerted Action in this area. The Concerted Action will examine long-term generic issues as initiatives are already in place to tackle operational problems such as those on the Rhine and Meuse systems. The Concerted Action will focus on flooding but considered within the framework of integrated river management.