Information and education tools - Flood maps

Figure 1: Innundation map
Figure 2: Risk map


Flood maps (inundation and risk) are considered as a baseline tool for increasing hazard awareness among the stakeholders and they also serve to support any flood mitigation and adaptation planning in the area. Thus, they should be available for all stakeholder groups, although their presentation and layout should be tailored to specific target groups.

Inundation maps are maps that present the water level and area prone to flooding. In some European countries it is connected with a given return period, as for instance: 10 years floods, 50 years floods or 100 years floods.

Flood risk maps quantify economic losses considering the exposure and vulnerability of material values. Risk maps do either show a classification of losses, mostly directly expressed as a monetary value, or they show different zones of risk - as a product from hazard, exposure and vulnerability.

To learn more about flood risk mapping please follow this link.


Experience in the FLOWS project has shown that, in case of residents and people moving into and out of an area (e.g. for work), it is important that the information delivered appeals to the emotional level ( This helps to reinforce the flood risk message to people leading to a deeper and more long lasting impression and embedded retention. Such information and communication should always be clearly related to the local situation. This facilitates the process of identifying the people with the problem.


However, there are several problems with flood maps:

  • the relative accuracy of such maps may not be good; leading to alarmist and unjustifiable concerns amongst those who live and work in an area shown to be at risk.
  • sewer flooding may occur: At the very local level, the property dweller will have no idea of the flood risk zones for their property drainage. At a main drainage level, many sewerage operators also have little idea as to the extent and risks of potential sewer flooding especially where climate change is also included.

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