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Water 2012, 4(1), 135-156; doi:10.3390/w4010135
Article

Towards a Risk Governance Culture in Flood Policy—Findings from the Implementation of the “Floods Directive” in Germany

1
, 2
 and 1,*
1 Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, Freising 85354, Germany 2 Research group plan B:altic, Stadtplanung und Regionalentwicklung, HafenCity Universität Hamburg, Winterhuder Weg 29, Hamburg 22085, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
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Abstract

The European Directive on the Assessment and Management of Flood Risks is likely to cause changes to flood policy in Germany and other member states. With its risk governance approach, it introduces a holistic and catchment-oriented flood risk management and tries to overcome shortcomings of the past, such as the event-driven construction of mainly structural measures. However, there is leeway for interpretation in implementing the directive. The present paper gives an overview on the implementation of the floods directive in Germany and is divided into two qualitative empirical case studies. Case Study I investigates the level of acceptance of the floods directive among decision-makers in the German part of the Rhine river basin. Findings show that the federal states respond differently to the impulse given by the floods directive. Whereas some decision-makers opt for a pro-forma implementation, others take it as a starting point to systematically improve their flood policy. Case Study II presents recommendations for a successful implementation of flood risk management plans that have been developed within a project for the water authority in Bavaria and might be interesting for other federal/member states. For a participation of the interested parties on the level of shared decision-making, the planning process has to work on sub-management-plan level (15–20 communities). The water resources authority has to adopt a multi-faceted role (expert, responsible or interested party depending on the discussed topics).
Keywords: floods directive; flood risk management; flood policy; stakeholder participation; risk approach; security approach; risk governance; water authority; decision-makers floods directive; flood risk management; flood policy; stakeholder participation; risk approach; security approach; risk governance; water authority; decision-makers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Heintz, M.D.; Hagemeier-Klose, M.; Wagner, K. Towards a Risk Governance Culture in Flood Policy—Findings from the Implementation of the “Floods Directive” in Germany. Water 2012, 4, 135-156.

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