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Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Flood Risk Management Plan for the Odra River Basin

National Water Management authority Warsaw, Poland
In the summer of 1997, six days of torrential rain battered Poland. The Odra river basin, covering more than one third of the country, was flooded; more than 50 people lost their lives and the flooding caused a significant damage valued at € 1.3 billion. The Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project wants to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. CDM Smith assessed the flood risk management plans for the Odra river basin on behalf of the National Water Management Authority.

Flood risk management plans are an important component of the assessment and management of flood risks as required by the provisions of Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 23 October 2007. To implement the European Union Flood Directive, flood risk management plans for Poland had to be developed and assessed before 2016. In 2014, after careful analysis and diagnosis, several drafts of the flood risk management plan were completed. These comprehensive documents were drafted using earlier preliminary flood risk assessment, flood threat maps and flood risk maps that included a description of the objectives of flood risk management and a list of necessary actions to be taken during specific planning cycles.

months of implementation
interdisciplinary experts
%
covered area of Poland
Floods are a natural occurrence that we need to become accustomed to.
Dagmara Jasik, Project Manager

The President of the National Water Management Authority is responsible for drafting flood risk management plans for flood plains. According to the regulations in effect, draft plans outlining the framework for subsequent measures with potential impact on the environment cannot be adopted without a prior strategic environmental impact assessment. Administrative proceedings on the strategic environmental impact assessment for a draft flood risk management plan for the Odra river basin involved the following in particular:

  • Agreeing on the level of detail of information included in the drafted environmental impact assessment document
  • Drafting an environmental impact assessment document towards the flood risk management plan for the Odra flood plain
  • Arrangements with administrative authorities
  • Organising and conducting consultations on the drafted documents with members of the public
Flooding is a natural phenomenon with which people should learn to live.

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