International co-operation on flood infrastructure asset management - FAIR

FAIR, or 'Flood infrastructure asset management and investment in renovation, adaptation, optimization and maintenance', is an European Interreg North Sea Region project with the main purpose of reducing the risk of flooding about North Sea. The primary focus of the project is investment planning and asset management.

International co-operation

Nine partners around the North Sea, together with several European research institutes and Universities, are looking to optimize flood protection through exchange of experience and generation of new knowledge. At the same time, alternative, innovative and multifunctional solutions are considered. The cooperating authorities are from: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK, and our scientific partners are: Technische Universität Hamburg, UNESCO-IHE, Sayers and Partners, and Deltares.

Pilot Areas

To support the main objective of the project, FAIR is working with six case studies. In the case of Denmark, The Danish Coastal Authority has chosen two pilot areas that have great potential to illustrate our challenges, and demonstrate possible solutions for flood issues, climate adaptation challenges, urban development and nature conservation. The pilot areas in FAIR are Ribe Kog and Ringkøbing Fjord. Both areas are, or will soon become, partly dependent of protection against flooding. At the same time, there is a need for renovation of existing flood infrastructure.

Map Sketches of pilot areas. Ribe Kog to the left, Ringkøbing Fjord to the right.

Flooding: System and measures

A system analysis of the whole flood system will establish a baseline for current practice and will identify challenges and opportunities. This will be done on both national and pilot-case levels.

At the National level, a framework for asset management will be produced, which will be compared across the North Sea Region and analysed in the international group with help from our research partners. Through exchange of experience and knowledge with the other countries, we aim to come up with recommendations for improvements on the issues of flood protection strategy, investment planning, operation of flood infrastructure and policy.

On a local level, in pilot areas, we are working together with stakeholders such as Esbjerg Municipality and Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality on examining the local sources of flooding, flood recipients and the initiatives that can prevent or mitigate the consequences. In addition, technical requirements for the flood infrastructure will be compiled and an investigation will be made into innovative, alternative and multi-purpose solutions to meet these requirements. Based on the experience with the case studies, FAIR will produce a guidance document.

Project milestone highlights

FAIR is a relatively large project, and it is the first co-operation of its kind, where countries all around the North Sea cooperate on flood issues in an European context. The Danish part of the project amounts to 512,000 euros -approximately 3.800,000 kr. Half of this amount is granted from The European Union, the other half being covered by The Danish Coastal Authority.

FAIR’s International Coordination Group consists of more than 20 members from nine North Sea countries and is led by Rijkswaterstaat of the Netherlands, which is among the leading authorities in the field of flood defence infrastructure in Europe. The internal project group in The Danish Coastal Authority is made up of a project manager and nine dedicated project staff, who are experts in the fields related to FAIR.

The project spans over five years to 2020. The first milestone was in autumn 2016 when the work with data collection on flooding started. In 2017, we look into the national situation: legislation, strategy, practices, etc. and at the same time mapping the conditions in the pilot areas: sources of flooding, assets, challenges, etc., in close co-operation with the local players. Based on these analyses, the project will enter an iterative phase, where opportunities and solutions will be considered and analysed, in order to be able togenerate guidelines and proposals for the municipalities and stakeholders in the pilot areas. Effective flood protection measures can be initiated on the basis of these proposals. The guidelines will be designed tobe applicable in other areas with similar challenges in Denmark and the other member states in FAIR.

Read more about FAIR on

Per Sørensen, Ulf Radu Ciocan, Mie Thomsen (Denmark), Paul Sayers (United Kindom), Peter Fröhle (Germany). Discussion on the management of flood infrastructure. Malmö, Sweden, February 2017


New report
A new FAIR report describes a method for calculating the probability of simultaneous occurrence of extreme events from multiple flood sources. The pilot site of Ribe is used to exemplify the method, from theory and assumptions to results and conclusions
Read more here: Joint Probability Method Report

FAIR end report
The report describes the most important results of FAIR ("Flood infrastructure Asset management and Investment in Renovation, adaption, optimisation and maintenance"), an EU-Interreg North Sea Region project.
Read more here: Adaptive asset management for flood protection FAIR end report