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Organisations Involved:
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International Levee Handbook

Levees to defend against flooding remain a critical part of flood risk management. The effects of ongoing climate and socio-economic change have been exemplified by the serious disasters in recent years in USA (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) and France (TempĂȘte Xynthia) where extensive loss of life and property damage occurred following levee failures or overflows. An international team from France, USA and UK/Ireland supported by Netherlands and Germany identified the need for a new comprehensive guidance handbook and begun working on the document in 2009. After four years of international collaboration, the 1350-page handbook was published in 2013.   It has been written by experts and practitioners from the participating countries in the project consortium and draws together scientific knowledge and practical experience.

The International Levee Handbook is a compendium of good practice, offering comprehensive guidance on the design, construction, maintenance and improvement of levees and describing the international state of the art on these matters. Also, it offers a decision support framework for competent engineers, rather than a prescriptive decision making code of practice, looking at specific challenges during the life cycle of levees.

The work is now available to buy from the following link:
Or download: download

A series of standard PowerPoint slides is currently being produced to support the various activities at the national or local level to disseminate and begin using the Handbook. These will be made available by CIRIA in 2014. The partner organisations are considering setting up an international Community of Practice. A discussion paper is being developed and will be accessible via this website when it is published in 2014.
The International Levee Handbook is coordinated by CIRIA
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