Cities, Flood prevention and nature based solutions. Cities and Water Conference Lucia Bernal Saukkonen DG Environment - Water

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1 Cities, Flood prevention and nature based solutions Cities and Water Conference Lucia Bernal Saukkonen DG Environment - Water

2 Challenges faced by cities The Union is densely populated and by 2020, 80 % of its population is likely to live in urban and peri-urban areas. Cities face a common set of core environmental problems: air quality concerns, increase in heat island effect, high levels of noise, traffic congestion, GHG emissions, biodiversity loss and degradation, water scarcity, floods and storms, diminishing green areas, contaminated sites, brownfields and inappropriate waste and energy management.

3 Flood events Can have a positive or negative in the environment but In urban areas: damages to infrastructure ( properties, networks), sewer overflows endangering public health, knock on impacts on economic activity Madrid June 2015: two fatalities and an estimated economic cost of 10 million EUR September 2015: Flash floods in south-east France that led to 20 fatalities and up to 650 million of damage The cost of the UK s winter floods 2015 will top 5bn

4 Projections of future floods in Europe under a +2 C global warming 100 year return period Roudier et al JRC

5 The Floods Directive Legal framework for integrated water management including flood risk management. Integration, covers many sectors. Land use, civil protection, dam management, strategic and environmental impact assessments, nature legislation, public consultation. Coordination across the river basin, including requirements for trans-boundary coordination!

6 Prevention Preparedness Protection

7 Three stage approach Preliminary flood risk assessment (maps, experience from past floods, predictions of future floods, identification areas of potential significant flood risk) Flood mapping (= knowing areas at risk of flooding, different scenarios, flood hazard maps & flood risk maps), Flood Risk Management Plans (= plans to reduce flood risks, covering all elements of the flood risk management cycle) (Transposition) (CA/Unit of management) * ** 2021 Review /update every 6 years thereafter Reporting to the Commission : 3 months after * = date of 1st review of pressure and impact analysis under the WFD ** = date of 1st review of WFD river basin management plans

8 Natural water retention measures in cities Floodsite, HR Wallingford.

9 NWRM some figures Infiltration trenches - designed to infiltrate all water from the contributing drainage area up to a 1 in 30 year event Reduction of % suspended solids reduction % reduction in total phosphorus % reduction in nitrogen Detention basins - can be sized to accommodate any size of rainfall event (up to a 1 in 100 year event) Also: pollutant removal, biodiversity benefits through the creation of new green spaces, recreation opportunities

10 NWRM implemented outside urban areas Agriculture: example Intercropping Work together, break the silos Hydro-Morphology: Re-meandering Benefits: slow runoff, increase infiltration, reduce erosion, filtrate pollution, reduce flood risks, protect ecosystems Forestry : Land use conversion Benefits: slow river water, intercept pollution, reduce erosion, create aquatic and riparian habitat, natural biomass production, biodiversity preservation Benefits: slow and store runoff, Increase evapotranspiration, increase infiltration, reduce pollutant sources, intercept pollution, reduce erosion 10

11 Principles are needed as well: Example French National Strategy on Flood Management Where the non-occupation of flood prone areas is seen as priority Preservation of the existing green infrastructure is set as the top priority Grey infrastructure is primarily seen as a source of risk, and much less as a protection means New grey infrastructure is listed as the very last option after all have been considered

12 Thank you for your attention 12

13 Introduction to commitments -Flood prevention and nature based solutions Commitment Target 2030 Call upon stakeholders Cities will apply land use planning practices that reduce flood risk and will promote flood risk awareness Cities will reduce runoff of rain water by increasing infiltration on their territories Reduction of storm water overflows by 50%, compared to 5-year average prior to 2015 Farmers and forest managers should adopt practices that increase natural water retention of soil Land use/management and river basin authorities should adopt policies that promote natural water retention Cities will promote green infrastructure and storage of rainwater (for reuse) to increase water retention on their territories, reduce heat island

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