Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
Research article
12 Nov 2012
Research article |  | 12 Nov 2012

A comparative analysis of the effectiveness of flood management measures based on the concept of "retaining water in the landscape" in different European hydro-climatic regions

S. Salazar, F. Francés, J. Komma, T. Blume, T. Francke, A. Bronstert, and G. Blöschl

Abstract. In this paper, we analyse the effectiveness of flood management measures based on the concept known as "retaining water in the landscape". The investigated measures include afforestation, micro-ponds and small-reservoirs. A comparative and model-based methodological approach has been developed and applied for three meso-scale catchments located in different European hydro-climatological regions: Poyo (184 km2) in the Spanish Mediterranean, Upper Iller (954 km2) in the German Alps and Kamp (621 km2) in Northeast-Austria representing the Continental hydro-climate. This comparative analysis has found general similarities in spite of the particular differences among studied areas. In general terms, the flood reduction through the concept of "retaining water in the landscape" depends on the following factors: the storage capacity increase in the catchment resulting from such measures, the characteristics of the rainfall event, the antecedent soil moisture condition and the spatial distribution of such flood management measures in the catchment. In general, our study has shown that, this concept is effective for small and medium events, but almost negligible for the largest and less frequent floods: this holds true for all different hydro-climatic regions, and with different land-use, soils and morphological settings.