• Floods Directive

    All aspects of risk management and in particular
    “prevention, protection and preparation, including flood forecasting and warning systems”

La Direttiva 2007/60/EC

Directive 2007/60/EC, know as “Flood Directive”, entered into force on 26 November 2007. This Directive established a framework on the assessment and management of flood risk, aiming at the reduction of the adverse consequences of floods for human health, environment, cultural heritage and economic activities.

In line with the international standards of river basin management, already promoted by Directive 2000/60/CE (WFD), the Floods Directive promotes a specific approach for the management of flood risks and practical and coordinated action at Community level. This Directive now requires Member States to assess if all water courses and coast lines are at risk from flooding, to map the flood extent and assets and humans at risk in these areas and to take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk. Moreover, it also reinforces the rights of the public to access this information and to have a say in the planning process.

The Directive required each member state to prepare Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs), which while contemplated every aspect of the flood risk focused on prevention, protection and preparedness, including flood forecast and early warning systems.

Member States, in order to reduce flood risks within an international river basin, are coordinated on a transnational level and verifiy that every measure implemented does not provide any increased flood risk for neighborings states.

The implementation of the Plans, updated periodically every 6 years, is based on three basic steps, each one with specific requirements and deadlines: Preliminary flood risk assessment; flood hazard maps and flood risk maps; Flood risk management plans. The Directive provides that within 3 months following the deadline of each implementation step, a formal reporting is made to the European Commission.

The Italian FRMPs are developed by the Prime Competent are coordinated and prepared at RBD level and detailed at UoM scale by the Prime Competent Authorities, constituted by the 5 River Basin District (Po River, Eastern Alps, Northern Appennines, Centrale Appennines and Southern Appennines) and the 2 Regional Authorities (Sicily and Sardinia). The periodic update of the FRMPs will allow for the adaptation of flood risk management through new information about changes occured in the territory and additional measures since the publication of the previous plans versions, taking into account also, how climate change will affect flooding.

Competent Authorities

Legislative decree 49/2010 transposed Directive 2007/60/EC, taking also into account the national legislation in force, especially Legislative decree 152/2006 (transposing the Directive 2000/60/EC) and Decree of the Prime Minister of 29.09.1988.

The RBDs had both a developing and coordinating role in the implementation of the FRMPs, in accordance to the Legislative Decree 152/20016, to ensure the highest level of consistency. While Regions and autonomous Provinces, in coordination with the national Department of Civil Protection, prepare the part B of the FRMPs relating to the national and regional warning system of flood risk for civil protection purposes.

Flood hazard maps and flood risk maps

The Directive required that each member state should prepare Flood Hazard and Flood Risk maps for significant risk areas, in other words areas that have the most significant flood risk or where there is a probability of flood risk, as identified in the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA)

Maps, covering areas exposed to significant flood risk, were prepared according to the following scenarios:

  1. low probability (extreme events),
  2. medium probability (likely return period ≥ 100 years)
  3. high probability

Flood hazard maps shown for each scenario flood extents, water depths or water level and, where appropriate, flow velocities or relevant water flow.

Created on the basis of the hazard maps, the flood risk maps should shown potential adverse consequence associated with flooding scenarios.

In Accordance with the Legislative decree 49/2010, there are 4 risk classes in relation to type and degree of adverse consequences for:

  • inhabitants potentially affected;
  • Strategic structures and infrastractures
  • Environmental, historical and cultural heritage;
  • Type of economic activity of the area potentially affected
  • Presence of plants which might cause accidental pollution as identified by Annex I of legislative decree 59/2005) and potentially affected protected areas identified by the Annex 9 part III of Legislative decree 152/2006);
  • other information such as floods with high concentration of sediments and pollution sources

In Italy the maps prepared by the PAIs (Piani di Assetto Idrogeologico), used the same, and sometimes more exhaustive, information required by the preliminary flood risk assessment, including the identification of the areas at significant flood risk. Therefore, Flood Hazard and Risk Maps of the FRMPs, enhanced and integrated the contents of the PAIs, according to the national guidelines provided by the Environmental Ministry of Land and Sea, with the input of ISPRA, RBDs and the technical board State-Regions.

Flood Risk Management Plans

FRMPs are essentially prepared, on the basis of the Flood hazard maps and flood risk maps. The RBDs on one hand coordinate the implementation of FRMP on the other hand collect each FRMP produced by the UoMs included in their territory and fit them into the wider frame of the RBD FRMP.

FRMPs define the objectives of flood risk management for areas in which a significant potential risk could exist, aiming at the reduction of the adverse consequences for human health, land, property, the environment, cultural heritage and economic and social activities, primarily through the implementation of non-structural measures and actions to reduce the hazard.

FRMPs contemplate every aspect of the flood risk, focusing on prevention, protection and preparedness,including flood forecast and early warning systems, also takning take into account the characteristics of the river basin or sub-basin.

The Legislative Decree 49/2010 provides for the FRMPs to be prepared as part of the planning activities of the basin districts, defined by the Legislative Decree 152/2006, without prejudice to the tools already prepared in the previous regulations, and taking account of the following aspects:

  • flood extent and water depth;
  • the conveyance routes and areas which have the potential to retain flood waters, such as natural flood plains;
  • the environmental objectives set out in Part Three, Title II, of Legislative decree 152/2006;
  • soil and water management, as well as nature conservation;
  • spatial planning and land use;
  • navigation and port infrastructure;
  • costs and benefits;
  • morphological and climatic conditions at the river mouth.

Reconsiderations and updating

FRMPs should be periodically reviewed and if necessary updated through new information about changes occured, also taking into account the likely impacts of climate change on the occurrence of floods. The Directive provides the deadlines for review of the preliminary flood risk assessment (22.09.2018 and hereafter every six years), the hazard maps and flood risk maps (22.9.2019 and thereafter every six years) as well as the Management Plans (22.09.2021 and thereafter every six years).

Public Information and Participation

Public information and participation have a key role in the implementantion of the FRMPs.

RBDs and the Regions, each according to their territorial competence and in coordination with with the national Department of Civil Protection, subject the FRMPs to public consultation and actively encourage the involvement of interested parties.

Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection make publicly available informations regarding Preliminary flood risk assessment, flood hazard maps and flood risk maps and Flood risk Management Plans through the website “National Geoportal”, already national data sharing infrastructure for spatial information (INSPIRE Directive2007/2/EC)

Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare