29 June 2023

Coperncius Services: Understanding the impact of extreme weather to plan preventive measures

Authoritative digital elevation and land cover data provided by the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG), Germany is being used to better understand, predict and prevent future flooding caused by extreme weather. 

In July 2021, heavy rainfall caused catastrophic flooding that devastated communities and claimed at least 187 lives along the Moselle, Rhine and Ruhr rivers in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. To better prepare and recover from such events in the future, it was crucial to understand how the disaster evolved within such a short timescale. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service Risk and Recovery Standard was activated by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) so that it could carry out a retrospective assessment of the flooding.

“Extreme weather conditions caused by global climate change have become increasingly frequent phenomena of our everyday life. By establishing a nationwide uniform basis for heavy rainfall hazard information maps in Germany, the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) is making an important contribution to risk management. As the first region mapped, North Rhine-Westphalia marks the beginning of the BKG project planned to be expanded to other federal states.”
Professor Paul Becker, President, Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG), Germany

Read the full case study.