Flood damage losses in Europe to rise

Published: 12 March 2014

European countries need to join forces to manage flood risks in the future. By 2050, the financial losses caused by floods may exceed current levels five times over. That is the conclusion of a study from the VU University in Amsterdam involving Deltares.

Four types of models linked

This European research project linked four types of models: river-water discharges, financial data (damage losses), climate change and population rise. Linking the models led to the conclusion that flood damage always affects several countries. And the conclusion was that losses, when they occur, are continuing to rise. This is the result of changes in extreme river discharges caused by climate change and the fact that people are increasingly living in flood-prone areas. The study also shows that there is a strong probability of damage in several countries at the same time, making Europe-wide assistance more needed.

Joint approach required

In order to prepare for the consequences of flooding, European countries will have to think more about a joint approach, for example in the field of prevention, and even in the field of insurance. The results of the study provide government authorities and insurers with a better picture of flood loss levels.

Flood risk europa
The study was published last Sunday in the leading journal ‘ Nature Climate Change’.