Conference Conference

Wednesday 24th September 2014, 9:30 – 17:30
Lindner Hotel, Antwerp, Belgium.

Registration for this conference is now closed.

Sharing Best Practice on Flood Alleviation - Free Event

“Adapt to mitigate the effects of flooding rather than trying to prevent it happening”; that was the key message from the conference held last week, with an aim to share best practice in flood alleviation.

76 people registered for the one-day event which took place on Wednesday 24 September in Antwerp, Belgium. The conference welcomed delegates from low-laying parts of Europe, to hear about how the project has shared knowledge, enterprise and innovation in flood alleviation practice.

Simon Hooton, Head of Strategy and Projects, The Broads Authority in England attended the conference. He commented: I found the Floodcom event extremely helpful. It was very useful to see the range of ideas being developed across Europe to tackle flood resilience. In particular, the education project is a great way to enable children to understand the issues surrounding flooding.”

On their departure, each delegate was presented with a Floodcom Toolkit. The toolkit builds on the information presented in the afternoon workshop sessions and gives more detailed information, as well as practical guides to aid the sharing of issue around flood alleviation and delivering best practice. A free version of the Floodcom Toolkit can be downloaded here in EN, FR and NL.

Floodcom is a truly international cooperation project with all partners being able to learn from one another through technical exchanges which have enabled professionals to see first-hand how flood schemes are implemented. The project involves five partners across four European countries: from the UK, Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council; from Belgium, Waterweegen en Zeekanaal NV, in Antwerp; from France IIW, in St Omer; and in the Netherlands, the City of Breda

Key speakers included:

Tom MarisWill global change change the ecology of our estuaries? Researcher, University of Antwerp

Nicolas Bauduceau - What are the new challenges for flood risk management in Europe?Technical and Scientific Director, European Center for Flood Risk Prevention (CEPRI)

Rosanna Briggs MBE, MSc, FICPEM - Coordination and response to a major flood event, Deputy County Emergency Planning Officer, Essex County Council

Mary Dhonau OBE - What it is like to be flooded and the long lasting effect it has on both individuals and communities, Community Engagement Officer, MDA Community Flood Consultants

Gianluca FerreriThe EU and Climate change: the role of the Interreg VA 2 Seas, Project Officer, INTERREG IVA 2 Seas

The Conference had a selection of interactive workshops at which lessons and practical experiences were shared.

Workshop 1 - Creating Resources for Education and Community Engagement

This workshop presented the key themes in the development and delivery of the Floodcom ‘Education Activity’ - an innovative education project that teaches schoolchildren aged 10-12 about why flooding occurs and how flood alleviation schemes mitigate flooding. For the educators involved in the programme, a teacher toolkit has also been devised to accompany and facilitate the delivery of the activities which includes a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans that cross reference the teaching curriculum.

Workshop 2 - Keeping Your Head Above Water

Chelmsford and Breda shared lessons and practical experience from their two innovative projects – a flood defence scheme to protect 1200 homes and businesses in Chelmsford, and using a historic fort for water retention in Breda.  Experts from each project discussed with attendes the technical background, working within the exacting legal and statutory framework, and engaging with stakeholders.

Workshop 3 – Developing Efficient Water Management Tools

In low coastal areas, water control pays a crucial role to avoid catastrophic situations and to reconcile the different uses. The exercise is dangerous since we have to take into account the variability of meteorological phenomena, the conditions to drain off water to the sea, and the complexity of hydraulic infrastructures. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to set up efficient tools. Keeping the general public informed is also essential to make their understanding easier and to ensure the transparency of decision-makers’ choices regarding water management, particularly in crisis situations.

Workshop 4 – From NIMBY to PIMBY

While managing our projects, we dare to forget the people who need to live next to this project. However those people can play a crucial role in the development of your project: they can hold your project back. That’s where communication steps in. Informing and engaging people can change the Not-In-My-BackYard attitude to a Please-In-My-BackYard attitude. Are you ready to create the PIMBY attitude.


If you have any questions about the conference please visit our Contact Us page.