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Preliminary flood risk assessment (Articles 4 & 5)
It is essential that action will only be taken in areas where potential significant flood risks exist or are reasonably foreseeable in the future. If in a particular river basin, sub-basin or stretch of coastline no potential significant flood risk exists or is reasonably foreseeable in the future; Member States would be able to identify them in the preliminary flood risk assessment.  For these river basins and/or sub-basins no further action would have to be taken.

Flood Hazard Maps and Flood risk maps (Article 6)
Flood hazards and risks will be mapped for the river basins and sub-basins with significant potential risk of flooding for three scenarios:

  • Floods with a low probability or extreme event scenarios
  • Floods with a medium probability (likely return period > 100 years)
  • Floods with high probability, where appropriate

The maps may show information related to flood extent, depths and velocity of water and the potential adverse consequences.

Flood risk management plans (Article 7)
Flood risk management plans will be developed and implemented at river basin or sub-basin level to reduce and manage the flood risk where identified as necessary in the preliminary flood risk assessment. These plans will focus on the reduction of potential adverse consequences of flooding for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity, and, if considered appropriate, on non-structural initiatives and/or on the reduction of the likelihood of flooding. They will address all phases of the flood risk management cycle but focus particularly on:

  • prevention (i.e. preventing damage caused by floods by avoiding construction of houses and industries in present and future flood-prone areas or by adapting future developments to the risk of flooding),
  • protection (by taking measures to reduce the likelihood of floods and/or the impact of floods in a specific location such as restoring flood plains and wetlands) and
  • preparedness (e.g. providing instructions to the public on what to do in the event of flooding)

Boundaries and International Basins (Article 8)
Article 8 covers the boundaries of plans and in particular the need for collaboration between Member States for international river basins which extend across several Member States or beyond the boundaries of the Community.

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