Reducing negative side effects of floods: case Paris

Published: 20 February 2018

Last summer and the beginning of this year were top flood alert moments for Paris. Weeks of heavy rain led to alarming water levels on the Seine River. Not only many boats could no longer travel under the bridges on the Seine, but also metro lines and trains were disrupted. Such events highlight the importance of a good understanding of the direct and indirect consequences of an extreme event and how this can help in reducing the negative effects of a flood.


The Deltares CIrcle tool, a touch table application used for discussing cascading effects with network owners and stakeholders, was used by French researchers. This was done in collaboration with governmental authorities to gain more knowledge on the cascading effects and dependencies between different stakeholders in case of a flood. The tool was used in two workshops (Ateliers Collaboratifs) for the EURIDICE project. In the workshops previous flood events in Paris were discussed with the aim of learning from these events with regards to the possible cascading effects between critical infrastructure networks.

New information on how to coordinate

CIrcle was applied by the French researchers Valérie November (CNRS) and Servane Gueben-Venière (LATTS). They used the approach to collaboratively design a critical infrastructure model with different Parisian stakeholders and to connect the model to river discharge forecasting in the Seine. The shared knowledge of the participants to the workshop brought into light new information on how different stakeholders may better coordinate with each other in case of a flood.

Servane Gueben-Venière (researcher LATTS): “One of the great advantages of CIrcle is that you can unfold the chain of domino effects: CIrcle makes it possible to circulate information between the actors dependent on each other and to capitalize the knowledge or information discussed during the workshops”

Next steps

The next step for the French researchers is to visualise the collected knowledge and data along the Seine. For Deltares the next step is to make the CIrcle tool available online. The experience with the EURIDICE project has shown that other researchers can use the CIrcle tool themselves and design their own workshops around it. The launch of the online version of CIrcle is planned in May 2018.