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Flood control legislation

Catastrophic flooding events in recent years, especially the hundred-year flood of the summer of 2002, occasioned the first flood control act. With the Flood Control Act (Hochwasserschutzgesetz), the German government introduced stringent, nationally binding requirements for the prevention of flood damage for the first time.

On 2 July 2004, the Bundestag adopted the Act to Improve Preventive Flood Control (Gesetz zur Verbesserung des vorbeugenden Hochwasserschutzes), also known as the Flood Control Act, based on the decision recommendation of its Environment Committee.

The Bundestag Mediation Committee made an agreement recommendation, which was approved on 17 March 2005 by the Bundestag and on 18 March 2005 by the Bundesrat. The Act entered into force on 10 May 2005.

Last updated: 30 June 2017

Note: The pdf document (undersigned with "Bundesanzeiger") is a service made available by www.bundesanzeiger-verlag.de. The PDF document is designed as a read-only version and may not be used for any purposes beyond this. The document can be purchased from the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).

The Flood Control Act II will further improve flood control in Germany and will take better account of advancing climate change. The new provisions have largely been incorporated into the Federal Water Act, in addition the Federal Building Code, the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Courts were also amended. The amendments are intended to simplify and speed up procedures for establishing flood control installations (sections 71, 71a, 77, 99a, Federal Water Act) without reducing public participation. Flood control will also be further improved. Flood damages will be avoided through a ban on new heating oil consumer installations and mandatory retrofitting of existing installations in areas at risk pursuant to section 78c of the Federal Water Act. Authorities will have more possibilities available to them to accelerate flood-adapted construction (section 78, Federal Water Act). Additional protective measures were included for new risk areas in the Federal Water Act, namely, "risk areas outside of flood plains" (section 78b, Federal Water Act) and "flood retention areas" (section 78d, Federal Water Act). The amendments to the Federal Water Act and the Federal Nature Conservation Act will enter into force on 5 January 2018, the other amendments entered into force the day after the law was published on 6 July 2017.

Last update: 30.06.2017