Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (Jan 2012)
Torrential floods and town and country planning in Serbia
Torrential floods are the most frequent natural catastrophic events in Serbia, causing the loss of human lives and huge material damage, both in urban and rural areas. The analysis of the intra-annual distribution of maximal discharges aided in noticing that torrential floods have a seasonal character. The erosion and torrent control works (ETCWs) in Serbia began at the end of the 19th century. Effective protection from torrential floods encompasses biotechnical works on the slopes in the watershed and technical works on the torrent beds, within a precisely defined administrative and spatial framework in order to achieve maximal safety for people and their property. Cooperation to overcome the conflicts between the sectors of the water resources management, forestry, agriculture, energetics, environmental protection and local economic development groups is indispensable at the following levels: policy, spatial planning, practice, investments and education. The lowest and most effective level is through the Plans for Announcement of Erosive Regions (PAERs) and the Plans for Protection from Torrential Floods (PPTFs), with Hazard Zones (HZs) and Threatened Areas (TAs) mapping on the basis of the hydrologic, hydraulic and spatial analysis of the factors that are important for the formation of torrential floods. Solutions defined through PAERs and PPTFs have to be integrated into Spatial Plans at local and regional levels.