Current Legislation - EU Floods Directive
The Flood Risk Regulations 2009 (FRRs) incorporate the requirements of the Floods Directive into our national law in England and Wales. The Floods Directive was written as a response to major flooding in Europe.
Between 1998 and 2004, Europe suffered over 100 major damaging floods. This led to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union putting in place Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks, generally known as the Floods Directive.
The Directive requires Member States to assess the risk of flooding from all sources except flooding from sewerage systems. Its aim is to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. The Directive applies to inland waters as well as all coastal waters across the whole territory of the EU. It also reinforces the rights of the public to access this information and to have a say in the planning process.
The implementation of the Directive is to be co-ordinated with Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy generally known as the Water Framework Directive; in particular flood risk management plans and river basin management plans are to be coordinated. All assessments, maps and plans prepared are to be made available to the public.
Member States are to coordinate their flood risk management practice in shared river basins, including with other countries, and are not to undertake measures that would increase the flood risk in neighbouring countries. Member States are also required to take into consideration long term developments, including climate change, as well as sustainable land use practice in the flood risk management cycle addressed in the Directive.