Predicting flooding of the river Meuse in Wallonia
Researchers at the University of Liege have published a multi-disciplinary research paper which makes it possible to estimate the damage that could be caused by variations in discharge of the river Meuse between now and 2100. The publication followed the AMICE project, an original, international, interregional and innovative collaboration project on the river and its river basin. To get a better grasp of the problem, the scientists from the University of Liege combined climatology, hydrology, hydraulics and urban planning, and focussed their research on the current considerations of the public authorities and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Their conclusions are clear: there needs to be better management of urbanization to limit the upward trend in considerable flood-related damage. It is estimated that, in Wallonia, the level of the river during a one hundred-year flood peak will increase by an average of 60 centimeters between now and 2050 and by 130 centimeters between now and 2100, creating a risk of flooding. Conversely, situations of prolonged low water levels are predicted for the drier months. The researchers have created an impressive chain of numerical models and relevant theories in the public interest.
There is an increasing awareness of the global, or at least the inter-regional character of the risk of natural catastrophes, and the need for management of this risk to be shared by the actors concerned. The first step in sharing this risk begins with a harmonization of observations and ideas about our surrounding environment. This article is the result of research that aims to adopt the above approach to the problem, explains Benjamin Dewals, lecturer in hydraulic engineering at ULg. “This publication follows the AMICE project which focussed on the entire Meuse river basin. The originality of this approach was to enable teams of scientists and managers from each country concerned to work together (France, Germany, Wallonia, Flanders and Holland, Editor’s note.). In an overall context, the project aimed to assess all the consequences of flooding and one hundred-year flood peaks between now and 2100, by taking a coherent account of the impact of climate on a basin-wide scale. For this to be possible it was neccessary for parties involved to work together.”
A. Beckers, B. Dewals, S. Erpicum, S. Dujardin, S. Detrembleur1, J. Teller, M. Pirotton, P. Archambeau Contribution of land use changes to future ﬂood damage along theriver Meuse in the Walloon region, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 2013 (http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/13/2301/2013/nhess-13-2301-2013.html)