Risk Management - Flood Protection

Risk management to protect the population and the economy

Austrian’s wealth of water water wealth can also become a danger, as the flood events of recent years have shown. Climate change also contributes to raising the risk of flood events in Austria.

Flood protection measures effectively protect existing settlements and economic areas from flooding. When planning and building, a wide range of factors and social, ecological and economic requirements must be taken into account. Forward-looking risk management is crucial to minimize damage.

The focus of this flood risk management, which can be summarized under the slogan "more space for rivers", is based upon a gentle approach. This means that only if there is no other option - for example in alpine valleys with a strong population pressure - other adaptation measures or flood protection measures must also be taken into account.

Extreme events are particularly relevant because of their damaging effects. According to data from the NatCatService of MunichRe between 1980 and 2010, weather- and weather-related damages amounted to approximately 9.5 billion EURO (inflation-adjusted to base year 2010) in Austria. Only the major events are recorded, so that one can expect a higher number of figures.

The approach of integrated flood management goes beyond structural flood protection and also includes non-structural measures such as flood forecast or the safeguarding of flooding areas. Plans (spatial planning, building regulations) as well as disaster management, public participation, awareness formation and self-responsibility are also considered.


The national flood risk management plan 2015 sets the following objectives:

  • Avoiding new risks before a flood event
  • Reduction of existing risks before a flood event
  • Reduction of adverse effects during and after a flood event
  • Strengthening risk and danger awareness