A major flooding of the Seine River similar to the flood disaster of 1910 could affect up to 5 million residents in the greater Paris area and cause up to 30 billion Euros worth of damage, according to a new OECD report. Economic growth, jobs and public finances could also be significantly affected. On Friday 24 January the results and recommendations have been presented by the OECD to the French authorities, international experts and press in Palais d’Iena, Paris.
The OECD Review on Flood Risk Management of the Seine River – commissioned by the Basin Organisation Seine Grands Lacs with the French Ministry of Ecology and Ile-de-France regional council – recommends that city officials work to raise risk awareness among citizens and businesses and improve the resilience of the metropolitan area to flood risks.
Serious economic consequences
According to Rolf Alter, Director of the OECD’s Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate the impact on Paris of a major flood would be much greater today than a century ago, with serious economic and social consequences on top of the temporary disruption and material losses. The better Paris prepares itself to manage this risk and improve its resilience, the less vulnerable it will be, to the benefit of the city and the country.”
Prof. Chris Zevenbergen, Chair Flood Resilience Chair Group of UNESCO-IHE and Margerata Wahlstrom, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) both speakers at this official event, stressed the key role of international collaboration and bottom-up approaches to engaging local communities and companies in reducing the flood risk of Paris.