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Realisation of flood protection measures for the city of Prague

Credit: Anthony DELANOIX (Unsplash)

Introduction

In 2002, Prague experienced severe flooding with total damage of 24 billion CZK (1 billion Euros). Future climate scenarios predict a change in the number and intensity of extreme events, inter alia, increasing the risk of river flooding.

Since the 2002 event, the implementation of flood control measures by Prague municipality substantially speeded up.The flood control system constructed in Prague consists mostly of grey infrastructure, such as fixed and mobile barriers and safety valves in the canalisation network along the Vltava River. These measures are very effective for events with “slower” arrival, typically associated to Vltava and Berounka rivers’ flooding. Summer floods are instead caused by short-term highly intensive rainfalls, i.e. torrential floods. These events affect relatively small areas along smaller watercourses and display a very quick increase in water level. In case of this type of flood, green measures, such as restoration of floodplains, watercourses and reservoirs, enhancing landscape permeability, are very effective and are part of the Prague Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2020). 

The implemented adaptation measures were assessed using a cost benefit analysis which showed that the benefits are greater than the costs even if only one event with a return period of 50 years is considered.

You can read the full case study on the Climate-ADAPT website.

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