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December 5th, 2007
A new EU Floods Directive

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Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks entered into force on 26 November 2007. 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. With this Directive also reinforces the rights of the public to access this information and to have a say in the planning process.

The Directive was proposed by the European Commission on 18/01/2006, and was finally published in the Official Journal on 6 November 2007. Its aim is to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. The Directive requires Member States to first carry out a preliminary assessment by 2011 to identify the river basins and associated coastal areas at risk of flooding. For such zones they would then need to draw up flood risk maps by 2013 and establish flood risk management plans focused on prevention, protection and preparedness by 2015. The Directive applies to inland waters as well as all coastal waters across the whole territory of the EU.

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