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The Changing Jet Stream and its Effects - Causes of and Response to European Flooding

It has not been a good few years for Europeans who like to keep their feet dry. This year, a succession of violent storms have battered Europe’s Atlantic coast, bringing misery to shipping and submerging much of the UK beneath rising floodwaters. Farmland, homes, businesses, vehicles, and public transport networks have disappeared beneath alarmingly high floods as rivers burst their banks and the land became saturated beyond capacity. Sections of railway line have been washed away entirely, and people in many areas are cut off from the rest of the world both physically and metaphorically, as communication networks and electricity lines have gone down in the worst flooded areas. Last year, extreme rainfall through May and June saw the Danube and the Elbe burst their banks and submerge much of Central Europe in a devastating wash of dirty water which obliterated homes and livelihoods and cost billions to clean up. Coupled with a succession of extremely wet summers, and the people of Europe are beginning to look askance at the skies. On the ground, organisations are working hard to assess and reassess flood risks and prevent further damage – but this is difficult when every year the weather gets more extreme. Clearly something is happening to our weather – but what?


SMARTeST Policy Statement

The SMARTeST Project Partners have undertaken research over the period January 2010 to June 2013 under the FP7 research programme of the European Commission, in particular in the area of (ENV.2009. Technologies for improved safety of the built environment in relation to flood events.  As a result of our research and close interaction with a range of stakeholders the partners present the policy statement set out here.

Download this file (D6 5 final-Aug13.pdf)SMARTeST Policy Statement[ ]371 Kb

Planning Theory & Practice; special edition on flooding

The Planning Theory & Practice journal has published a new special edition on flooding, which hosts an article by one of the SMARTeST team members, Dr. Iain White (School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK). The title of the paper is: "The more we know, the more we know we don’t know: Reflections on a decade of planning, flood risk management and false precision".


Third Water Framework Directive international conference:  climate change impacts on water security and safety

4th-6th November 2013
at the Polytech'Lille, Lille, France

The conference will review technical challenges faced by Member States, stakeholder organisations and scientists, while integrating climate change components (understanding, prevention, preparedness) into the River Basin Management Planning under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), in particular adaptation measures expected to take place within the 2nd RBMP.


International Conference on Flood Resilience

Experiences in Asia and Europe
5-7 September 2013
Exeter, United Kingdom

Flooding puts huge pressure on national economies, cities, communities and individuals alike. The short-term impacts may include hundreds of casualties, many displaced people, very serious health problems and enormous damage to property and infrastructure. Affected areas may need years to recover.


SMARTeST Flood Resilience Technologies Portal


IAEG XII Congress, Torino 2014

The IAEG XII Congress aims to analyse the dynamic role of Engineering Geology in our changing world: by means of a series of topics and sessions offered to the participants' choice through the interpretative key of four main themes:



New technologies could aid flood protection

Pan-European SMARTeST project nears conclusion as UK struggles with aftermath of deluge

As householders in England and Wales begin cleaning up after days of severe flooding, a pan-European project has been developing a new generation of flood resilient smart technologies and products to protect homes.


About SMARTeST project

Smart Resilience Technology, Systems and Tools - SMARTeST

The programme, involving 10 European research institutes, will develop flood resilience systems. It will seek to develop innovative and smart technology and products and to introduce new systems.  The emphasis is on cost effective solutions to flood resilient systems in the urban environment.


The aim is to improve the Road to Market of innovative Flood Resilient (FRe) technology by reducing deficiencies and obstacles in the implementation of Flood Resilience Measures, facilitating the design of more holistic flood defence systems and supporting the implementation of the new EU flood risk management policy of “Living with Floods”. New technology, systems and tools will be developed.  Guidelines for validating their performance will be established and applied in experimental studies to determine the reliability of today’s Flood Resilience products.

Strategy and methodology

The project strategy uses the work package system to address the technology, systems and implementation for flood resilient technology. The three main strands of the research will be brought together through an integration work package. The strategy also involves a significant amount of dissemination activity in order to make an impact. Dissemination activities will be varied to reach a variety of stakeholders and to make an impact from the research results.


This project will act as a springboard to the use of the next generation of FRe-technology. Such technology may be based on so called smart systems that incorporate sensor technology, automatic control, innovative materials and high levels of performance. This innovation will improve the effectiveness especially in the case of pluvial and flash floods where extreme short response time requires automatic deployment of FRe-systems. Through involvement of commercial enterprises and service providers it is believed that the research outcomes of this project will be directly applied by the FRe industry and will especially trigger the development of new markets for the protection of urban infrastructure.

The project will result in the development of guidance documents for validating the performance of FRe technology and in experimental studies the reliability of today’s Flood Resilience products.

The project has the potential to make a significant beneficial contribution to flood risk management in Europe and will foster the development of more holistic flood defence systems which will lead in the end to flood resilient cities. The project will substantially reduce the damage, the costs and the health impacts associated with flood hazards.

The selected case studies (Manchester, Hamburg, Dresden, Paris, Valencia, Rotterdam, Athens and in Cyprus) cover various regions of Europe and the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and North Sea.  The case studies will be used as instruments for research into systems and the implementation of flood resilient technology.


The project will be coordinated by Dr. Stephen Garvin, Building Research Establishment (BRE), the full list of partners are as follows:

  1. Building Research Establishment (BRE), UK
  2. Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH), Germany
  3. Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), France
  4. University of Manchester (UNIMAN), UK
  5. University of Athens (NKUA), Greece
  6. Dion Toumazis & Associates (CYT), Cyprus
  7. Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), France
  8. Technical University of Delft (TUD), Netherlands
  9. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UMP), Spain
  10. Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development (IOER), Germany


1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012.

National support groups

National Support Groups (NSGs) will be formed in each country. These groups will be composed of representatives of national governments, local government, environment agencies, industry and local flood forums.  The intention of the NSG will be to provide support to the project from each country and to represent the interests of the country and industry in the research.  The NSGs will effectively have a role to help to steer and advise the project team.

In return the NSG members will have access to the research results at an early stage, in advance of the publication of the findings.  In addition, members will have access at reduced rates to dissemination events that will be organised in the UK and on an international basis.  The UK NSG represents a substantial opportunity to network with key stakeholders in the field of flood management through regular meetings of the group and virtual networking through a project web site.