Flood theme

CHR's core tasks include the documentation and analysis of hydrological events (such as the extremely high water levels in 1983, 1988, 1993-1995). The CHR has described the causes, progress and consequences of high water situations in a variety of publications over the past decades.
Investigation of methods for determination of high water discharges and high water levels.
Investigation of the hydrological measures for high water management. (This theme is discussed in more detail elsewhere in the CHR web site).

Significance of the flood theme

Floods, or flooding, is a drastic occurrence in the basin of a river and often leads to considerable damage. In the worst possible scenario, there may be victims. There are lessons to be learned from each flood situation. The CHR analyses flood situations in an attempt to compile recommendations in the area of flood forecasts, warnings and management. Such recommendations may lead to improved international co-operation and therefore to increased safety in the river basin.

Application of the findings of studies into flood situations

Publications on floods are a source of information for scientists, universities, hydrological departments and engineering firms. Thanks to the targeted distribution of CHR reports and participation of renowned institutes in the CHR working groups, the recommendations find their way to hydrological and hydraulic engineering projects at both the European level and at the level of the catchment area in question.

The CHR "Summary of processes for estimating flood discharges - Experiences from the countries bounded by the Rhine" project:

The CHR will with this project contribute to an expert estimation of flood discharges in meso-scale catchment areas, by formulating a summary of procedures successfully applied in management and in practice, in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

Phased plan for execution of the project

The phased plan can be sub-divided into:

Country reports

Description of procedures successfully managed and applied for the estimation of high water discharges in the form of Country Reports. Such country reports are being compiled in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.


Detailing of a synthesis based on the individual country reports, and the main results of which are summarized and published as a CHR report.


The International FLOOD ESTIMATION Conference, held in Bern, Switzerland, 6th to 8th March, 2002

CHR report

Formulation of a CHR report containing the results booked within the scope of this project. This report has been published as CHR Report I-19 and may be obtained from the CHR secretariat

Participating institutes

in the CHR "Summary of processes for estimating flood discharges- Experiences from the countries bounded by the Rhine" project:


Federal Office for the Environment, Bern
University Bern


Ministry for Agriculture, Forest, Environment and Water Management, HZB Vienna


University of the German armed forces, Munich, Neubiberg

The Netherlands:

Rijkswaterstaat - Centre for Water Management, Lelystad

CHR publications on the flood theme

  • M. Barben, H.-P. Hodel, H.-B. Kleeberg, M. Spreafico, R. Weingartner (2001): Übersicht über Verfahren zur Abschätzung von Hochwasserabflüssen - Erfahrungen aus den Rheinanliegerstaaten, Bericht Nr. I-19.
  • Engel, H. (1999): Eine Hochwasserperiode im Rheingebiet. Extremereignisse zwischen Dezember 1993 und Februar 1995, Bericht Nr. I-17
  • Schädler, B. (red.) (1997): Bestandsaufnahme der Meldesysteme und Vorschläge zur Verbesserung der Hochwasservorhersage im Rheingebiet. Schlussbericht der IKSR-Arbeitseinheit \'Meldesysteme / Hochwasservorhersage\' - Projektgruppe \'Aktionsplan Hochwasser\' /Annonce et prévision des crues dans le bassin du Rhin. Etat actuel et propositions d\'amélioration. Rapport final de l\'unité de travail \'Systèmes d\'annonce / prévision des crues\' - Groupe de projet \'Plan d\'action contre les inondations\'. Bericht Nr. II-12
  • CHR/KHR (1990): Das Hochwasser 1988 im Rheingebiet, Bericht Nr. I-9.
  • Schröder, U. (1990): Die Hochwasser an Rhein und Mosel im April und Mai 1983 / Les crues sur les bassins du Rhin et de la Moselle en avril et mai 1983,
  • Bericht Nr. II-3
  • Buck, W.; R. Kipgen; J.W. van der Made; F. de Montmollin; H. Zettl; J.F. Zumstein (1986): Berechnung von Hoch- und Niedrigwasserwahrscheinlichkeit im Rheingebiet / Estimation des probabilités de crues et d\'étiages dans le bassin du Rhin, Bericht Nr. I-4.