Draft plan for preventing marine inundation and flas floods
Jean-Louis BORLOO, Minister of State, Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development andMarine Affairs, in charge of Green Technologies and Negotiations on Climate matters, today presented to the French Cabinet a draft plan for preventing marine inundation and flash floods, the so-called dyke plan, which will be open for wide consultation until October.
The national territory has approximately 8,000 kmof river banks and more than 1,000 km of sea walls and other defences against the sea.The damaging storm Xynthia on 28 February last revealed the fragility of some of the defences which gave way or were overwhelmed by the sea flooding built-up areas. The severe flooding that occurred along the Var has also shown the need to improve vigilance and warning systems.In this context, it is necessary to strengthen measures aimed at reducing the vulnerability of land liable to inundation by the sea and flash floods. At the present time, few plans for preventing hazards (PPR) take account of inundation by the sea. Thus, out of 864 coastal communities only 46 PPR have been approved and 71 stipulated. The plan is based on 6 areas of work, the main actions of which are as follows:
1. Control building in the zones at risk :
- between now and the end of 2010 establish a list of the territories for which a PPR must be drawn up within three years,
- set out a doctrine covering the general rules for generating PPR, and include, notably, the future rise in sea levels due to climate change.
2. Improve the system for forecasting, vigilance and warning:
implement a "high waves – inundation by the sea" meteorology vigilance section (department level) at the end of 2011,
set up (Météo France) a new infra-departmental warning service for "flooding due to heavy rain",
give each community at risk of flooding, a communal rescue plan encouraging an inter-community approach,.
- 3. Reinforce sea walls and river banks and protection systems:
accelerate the census of sea walls and river banks currently underway,
select the projects for strengthening sea walls and river banks by taking account of a global view of flooding prevention.
- 4. Organise control over work on sea walls and river banks:
make proposals, through legislation if necessary, between now and 2010, based on the conclusions of a working group containing local authority associations, administrators, and the State (coordinated by Senator DOLIGE).
- 5. Strengthen checks on the security of protective structures.
- 6. Improve understanding of risk and culture:
improve knowledge of the functioning of the marine environment causing flooding and erosion,
develop land exercices.
The State offers a programme of investment enabling approximately 1,200 km of barriers to be strengthened from 2011 to 2016. The Barnier Funding programme will be able to finance up to 40% of this plan. European FEDER funds can be mobilised in addition.
This draft plan is now subject to a wide process of consultation until October involving all parties concerned, especially the national associations of local authorities. A multi-party steering committee charged with monitoring the plan will also be established at the end of the consultation period, and the first reinforcement work could be selected between now and the end of 2010.
For Jean-Louis BORLOO: "this plan will enable us to double the present rate of investment in strengthening the barriers. It must enable us to prepare for the future and face up to the challenges waiting for us such as the rise in sea levels in the coming decades".
Press Contacts : Benoît PARAYRE 01 40 81 72 36 - Muriel DUBOIS-VIZIOZ 01 40 81 31 73
Source : site of Ministry for ecology, energy, sustainable development and marine affairs - 13 juillet 2010