Updated knowledge on floods and risk management in the Middle Ebro River: The “Anthropocene” context and river resilience

Alfredo Ollero, J.Horacio García, Askoa Ibisate, Miguel Sánchez-Fabre


The floods of 2015 and 2018 in the Middle Ebro River have led to a rethinking and updating of the forecasting and management systems. The improvements in the flow measurement systems applied in this type of extreme phenomena have led to questioning the values that were recorded in the past, officially changing the maximum flow rates of some historical floods. This has called for the need to update the knowledge/information of those recorded in the middle Ebro River, for example changing the return periods and making previous scientific studies obsolete. Updated data are applied, trying to re-characterize the floods of Ebro River since 1950, date in which the beginning of the “Anthropocene” is evident in the river management of the mainstream and its basin. At the same time, in the proposed risk management plans compliant with 2007/60/EC Directive, the structural measures are being replaced by more respectful and better adapted prevention systems for the river. The two processes interact and are essential for educating the population on risk, adopting preventive measures that are sustainable and consistent with the authentic (corrected) characteristics of the river and its floods. Thus, scientific knowledge has been consolidated as a tool to display corrected data, or, the river’s updated reality, and also to make the affected inhabitants aware of the need to follow new management protocols, focused on river resilience and social strategies.


flooding; discharge data; flood risk; global change; mitigation measures

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.4730

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