Setting priority measures for reducing flood damages easier to decision-makers

Jun 5, 2017

Installation of measuring devices on the Vrbas River

In order to enable local institutions to better prepare and mitigate the devastating effects of floods, it is necessary to know the extent, strength, depth and probability of occurrence of these phenomena. All information required by the competent flood risk management authorities are now contained in the flood hazard and risk maps, which were made for the first time in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Vrbas River basin and its largest tributaries, Pliva and Vrbanja. At the end of May 2017, the maps were finalized under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) "Technology Transfer for Climate Resilient Flood Management in Vrbas River Basin". The maps will enable better planning of land use in 14 * municipalities exposed to floods.

"Decision makers will be able to better plan the development by using knowledge of the existing flood hazards and risks and better prepare for upcoming flood events. Although the Vrbas River Basin covers 12% of BiH's surface area, the new applied methodology for the preparation of hazard and risk maps should be used throughout the country", stressed Raduška Cupać, UNDP project manager.

In the near future, the maps will be the basis for charting the risk zones in the floodplain areas, where the building rules will be defined in accordance with the flood risks, as well as the definition flood insurance and the establishment of a flood forecasting and early warning system.

Flood hazard and risk maps have been developed by local experts using the most modern river flow mathematic modeling technology and creating a spatial database that provides information on likely flood events. By developing flood hazard and risk maps, the basis for further work and improvement of water resource management activities has been created, as well as reducing their detrimental effects on the catchment level and the local communities in it.
The maps were submitted for the opinion and analysis of water management institutions: The Agency for the Sava River Basin and the Public Institution of the Vode Srpske. All these technical advancements and knowledge will enable municipalities and entity water management agencies to better adapt to the flood and reduce their devastating effects.

The UNDP's project "Technology Transfer for Climate Resilient Flood Management in Vrbas River Basin" funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska, respective entity ministries responsible for water management and civil protection, and 14 municipalities in the Vrbas river basin. The project aims to enable BiH authorities at all levels to adapt to flood risks by the use of technologies that will enable climate resilient economic activities. All activities under this as well as other projects implemented by the UNDP Energy and Environmental Sector, contribute to environmental protection.

*Gradiška, Srbac, Laktaši, Banja Luka, Čelinac, Kotor Varoš, Kneževo, Mrkonjić Grad, Jezero, Jajce, Šipovo, Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf

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