Flood Management

Floods are natural phenomena which cannot be prevented. Besides, some human activities and climate change contribute to an increase in the likelihood and adverse impacts of flood events. The sustainable flood management is therefore a basis for decision-making at international, national, regional and local levels.


The Sava River Basin countries have a long tradition and cooperation in flood management. The Parties to the Framework Agreement to the Sava River Basin (FASRB), with aim to strenght the cooperation,  implement jointly agreed activities and ensure preconditions for sustainable flood management in the Sava River Basin, prepared the Protocol on Flood Protection to the FASRB (Protocol). The Protocol emphasizes the need for decreasing harmful consequences of floods on human life and health, environment, cultural heritage, economic activities and infrastructure in the basin, creating a firm legal foundation for the implementation of all activities agreed by Sava countries, via their joint platform – the International Sava River Basin Commission (Sava Commission).
Floods in the Sava River Basin generally occur in spring, after snow melt, and in autumn, after heavy rainfall. Appearance and characteristics of floods in the Sava River Basin are greatly influenced by:
  • the basin features and shape
  • seasonal rainfall distribution 
  • state of the ground water level which affect infiltration of river water,
  • spillage of waters into natural inundations and
  • existance and functioning of the flood protection systems. 

Earliest recorded floods in the Sava River basin were in 1550 in Slovenia. In XVIII century in Slovenia three floods were recorded: 1704, 1707, and 1772. During the period of XX - XXI century there was at least one recorded flood each ten years, while in the 1994 to 2004 period larger floods were recorder in the basin each year.

Disastrous floods occurred in the Sava Basin in May 2014 leading to 79 casualties and substantial economic damages that amounted to about € 2.04 billion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, € 1.5 billion in Serbia and  € 300 million in Croatia. 
The total surface of potential flood areas is around 18,850 km2 with a population of approx. 4.4 million. According to Corine 2012 10,600 km2 is agricultural land, around 6,900 km2 are forests and semi-natural areas, approx. 1,000 km2 artificial areas, and the remainder of around 350 km2 is made of wetlands and water areas. Based on available data, 251 potential flood areas were identified as important for Sava River basin, with a total area of 5,659.29 km2, which is 5.8 % of total area of the basin and 30.1 % of the total area of all analysed potential flood areas.