During the two-day-long closing event of the DAREFFORT project (DAnube River Basin Enhanced Flood FORecasting CooperaTion) three different events took place online with more than 75 participants at each event. On 29 April 2021 the Final Conference of the DAREFFORT project presenting the major achievements started with a series of opening speeches. On behalf of the Danube Region Strategy Environmental Risks Priority Area, Mr. László Balatonyi, the Hungarian co-coordinator of the Priority Area, greeted every participants.
In his opening speech, he mentioned that the occurring extreme weather events are likely to become more intense and frequent due to climate change and socio-economic pressure. To support his statement he reminded the participants of the extreme flooding events of 2002, 2006, 2013 and 2014 in Danube River Basin District.
The affected 14 countries declared in The Danube Region Operative Flood Management Cooperation Programme (DR Oper&Cooper) that higher quality and reliable data exchange is definitely needed for the Danube Basin. The start of the DAREFFORT project in 2018 was a big step to achieve a Danube Basin-wide forecast system. Since than the project has become one of the flagship projects of the EUSDR PA5: reviewed flood and ice forecasting methods, an e-learning material for wide range of experts and overall recommendations on how to improve forecasting systems are just a few from several accomplishments the project has made. Mr. Balatonyi highlighted that the most important achievement of all is that the idea of a Danube Hydrological Information System has become reality and it makes him especially proud that the activities mentioned above were realized under Hungarian leadership. As a closing thought, he called everyone’s attention to the fact that flood forecasting is just the first step of flood protection, but it is extremely important.
The second event of the first day was the 6th Periodic Project Meeting, a closed event for the project and associated partners only. The 2nd Biennial Danube Forecasting Forum (DAFF) was held on the 30 April 2021, open to public. The invited experts presented the actual status and developments of flood and ice forecasting systems in the Danube Basin.
The project activities will actually finalize at the end May 2021. The achievements of the DAREFFORT project are the result of the persistent work and effective cooperation of the project partners during the implementation period between June 2018 and May 2021. If you are interested in the project achievements, please read through the Technical Summary, or visit the official DAREFFORT project webpage.
Text is provided by Ms. Petra Csizmadia, EUSDR PA5 (Hu)