Safety against flooding | Compendium Coast and Sea

Safety against flooding

Flooding along the coast can be driven by storm surges and sea level rise. Between 1902 and 2015, the Earth's average sea level rose by 0.16 m. The average annual rise during this period did not stay the same, but accelerated. Meanwhile, the global average (calculated over the period 2006-2015) is 3.6 mm per year. The North Sea coast of Belgium, characterised by coastal dunes, sandy beaches and naturally soft foreshore, can be vulnerable to severe storm surges. The Coastal Safety Master Plan consists of  the measures to be taken for adequate protection of the coastline, the coastal ports and the adjacent low-lying polders against a superstorm with 2050 as the time horizon, while the Coastal Vision  project aims to formulate a Flemish long-term approach to coastal protection. In addition to traditional measures for Coastal Safety, so-called nature-based solutions are increasingly emerging.

The 'Thematic Chapter' gives an overview of the scientific knowledge, socio-economic data and legal aspects of the user function ‘Safety against Flooding’ for the Belgian coastal zone. The European regulations applicable to this activity are discussed in more detail under 'Legislation'. More information on the expertise available within the Belgian marine research groups on flood safety and their relevant research infrastructure can be obtained via 'Research groups' and 'Infrastructure'. Finally, a spatial overview can be found under ‘Coastal Portal’.