Romania maps out its future for flooding

HR Wallingford is to employ its leading-edge thinking to flood modelling and mapping in Romania, one of the most flood-prone countries in Europe. We will review and evaluate Romania’s existing methods and come up with new and more comprehensive approaches.

The key to managing flooding in the country lies with better planning and prevention, which is also the aim of the EU Floods Directive. Romanian water authorities are committed to reducing flood risk and this new work will help them implement the second cycle of the directive.

It is rare to see a year without serious flooding in Romania and, with the country located almost entirely within the Danube’s river area, it affects many of the people who live there. Given that an estimated 23 per cent of Romania’s population lives in poverty, consequences can be dire when floods hit the country, according to the World Bank.

Losses to life and livelihoods from flooding have been significant, and HR Wallingford’s work – part of a World Bank Reimbursable Advisory Service Project, “Technical Support for the Preparation of Flood Risk Management Plans for Romania” – will help to reduce these in the future. For instance, after Romania flooded in 2010 – affecting 12,000 people, causing 26 deaths and leading to damages totalling 1.1 billion Euros – the World Bank estimated that better prevention could have reduced financial losses by up to 13 per cent and well-being losses (how households suffered in terms of income and assets) by 16 per cent.

Darren Lumbroso, technical director at HR Wallingford says: ‘This highly strategic bit of work really plays to our strengths. HR Wallingford has been at the forefront of flood prevention for over 70 years, and we bring our knowledge and experience to help communities that are vulnerable around the world. We’re looking forward to helping Romanian stakeholders develop new methods to model and map flooding from all sources to meet the requirements of the second cycle of the Floods Directive’’

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