Measures in Place to Control Floods in Bratislava (Slovakia)

Ladislav Szakallos, from the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia, crisis management department, explains the main measures in place.


After an intense rainfall in the Austrian and German part of the Danube River Basin, in June 2013 there has been a rapid increase of the water level and flow in the Danube, and subsequently an increase in the water level of the Slovak section of the Danube. Between 6 and 9 June, the water level of the Danube in Bratislava reached a level corresponding to “level 3″ of flood activity. For this reason, in line with the flood safety plan, the construction of mobile flood controls in Bratislava was carried out.

High flowrates during floods of the Danube, terrain morphology and breach of flood controls could have catastrophic consequences – such as flooding of a populated urban area of 383 km2, damage of a critical infrastructure and of 2, 000 km2 of agricultural land – which would directly affect the 490,000 inhabitants of Bratislava.

The newly constructed flood control barrier is a best practice example for mitigation of natural disasters and extreme weather events, such as floods. With a length of about 15 km, the barrier consists of mobile barriers, fixed flood control walls and earth embankments. Thanks to the barrier, the water level of the Danube was stabilized and there was no breach of the flood defenses. In Bratislava, the Danube peaked at about a 1040 cm water level.

The flood control barrier was built based on the patented flood protection system DPS 2000 ® which consists of  aluminum pillars with lightweight aluminum profiles in the middle, which serve as dampers. The pillars are screwed into concreted stainless steel anchor plates and with finishing profiles for parapet.

Mobile flood controls designed for Bratislava were installed by water managers on a concrete foundation according to flood control plans in the individual sections. Flood controls were in some cases installed only after the “level 2″ of flood activity.

The main objectives of flood control in Bratislava

  • Adequate protection of the population against floods in the area of interest
  • Prevention of economic damage in the area of interest
  • Prevention of environmental damage in the area of interest
  • Protection of drinking water and agricultural land from contamination
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection – traffic roads, railways.