23 Jan Government updates flood risk management plans
- The plans for the demarcation of Galicia-Costa, and the hydrographic demarcations of the Western Cantabrian, Guadalquivir, Segura, Júcar and the Spanish part of the demarcations of the Miño-Sil, Duero, Tagus, Guadiana, Ebro, Ceuta and Melilla have been approved.
- The total budget foreseen is 2,235 million euros.
- The plans go in particular into the study of the impact of climate change to prepare for its worst impacts.
- Priority is given to actions to make the good condition of water bodies compatible with flood risk, together with risk adaptation projects in buildings and other public assets.
The Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge and the Ministry of the Interior, approved on 17 January two royal decrees that determine, on the one hand, the flood risk management plans (PGRI) of the intercommunity demarcations of the Western Cantabrian, Guadalquivir, Segura, Júcar and the Spanish part of the hydrographic demarcations of the Miño-Sil, Duero, Tajo, Guadiana, Ebro, Ceuta and Melilla, Guadalquivir, Segura, Júcar and of the Spanish part of the Miño-Sil, Duero, Tajo, Guadiana, Ebro, Ceuta and Melilla river basin districts, and, on the other hand, of the Galicia-Costa river basin district.
These plans are a key tool for planning and reducing flood risk over the next 6 years. For this reason, they include measures that consider all the phases of the risk management cycle: prevention, protection, preparation and recovery. In their preparation, the involvement of all the administrations has been taken into account, as well as that of society, which must participate in the whole process and be informed of the risk that affects them and what they can do to reduce it.
The PGRIs study in particular the impact of climate change in order to prepare for its worst impacts, in accordance with the Floods Directive and the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition. For this reason, the impact that climate change may have on the Areas of Potential Significant Risk of Flooding (ARPSI) designated in the plans has been analysed.
RISK PERCEPTION AND ADAPTATION
On the other hand, improving public awareness of flood preparedness, increasing risk perception and adopting self-protection strategies are essential for the successful implementation of the plans. Therefore, one of the most important measures foreseen in this cycle is the elaboration and implementation of a National Strategy for Flood Risk Communication and Climate Change Adaptation.
Thus, the PGRIs represent the consolidation of the flood risk adaptation programmes, and include the development of specific programmes to increase resilience and adaptation to flood risk in the most severely affected sectors or territorial areas through royal decrees on aid such as those approved for various municipalities in the Campo de Cartagena (Royal Decree 1158/2020), the middle stretch of the Ebro and tributaries (Royal Decree 731/2022) and the lower plain of the Segura river (Royal Decree 786/2022).
IMPROVED FORECASTING AND WARNING SYSTEMS
In this second cycle, the implementation of two tools envisaged in the National Civil Protection System Law is planned, the National Civil Protection Information Network (Law 17/2015) with the aim of interconnecting all the data and information necessary to guarantee effective responses to emergencies among the competent Public Administrations, and the National Alert Network. Through this system, emergency warnings will be communicated to the competent authorities in the field of civil protection and meteorological and hydrological alerts so that essential public services and citizens are informed in the event of any threat.
The PGRI also foresees an investment of more than 100 million euros for the modernisation and optimisation of the control networks, the increase in the number of measuring points and the development of computer tools to aid decision-making in flood situations.
The new flood risk management plans also promote the implementation of measures to increase river space, habitat recovery, the creation of flood plains and the relocation or elimination of obsolete or non-functional protection works, all in coordination with hydrological planning and the protection of habitats and species.
570 million, or 30% of the investment, is planned for more than 100 new projects.
FLOOD PROTECTION WORKS
At the same time, it also includes the execution of structural actions that reduce danger in specific ways in generally urban areas or that have an impact on infrastructures that affect people’s safety, combined with other management actions and backed by cost-benefit studies that justify the viability of the selected alternative. In the first phase, priority actions with favourable cost-benefit studies published in these plans are planned to be carried out, to which actions will be added as they are analysed and developed during this cycle, with an estimated total investment of some 600 million euros.
BUDGET OF THE SECOND CYCLE PGRI
The investment foreseen in the second cycle in the plans approved today is more than 2,100 million euros for the inter-community demarcations, to which must be added the 109 million euros foreseen in the plan for the Galicia-Costa demarcation, which means an increase of more than double the budget of the first cycle plans.
A more extensive summary of the content of these plans can be consulted on the MITECO website.