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Devastating flooding in July not linked to management of Eupen Dam

According to a report compiled by group of independent experts the flooding that caused devastation in the Vesdre Valley (Liège Province) in mid-July could not have been avoided even if the Dam in the town of Eupen had been better managed. After July’s flooding the Walloon Environment Minister Philippe Henry (green) asked a group of independent experts to examine whether mistakes had been made with regard to water management. 

One of the areas examined by the experts was how dams and sluices were managed in and around the stricken area. They looked into whether the dams and sluices might have been able to hold back more water and in so doing lessen the severity of the flooding. The first part of the report deals with this topic at length. It was presented to the Walloon Parliament on Monday morning. A great deal of attention was given to the dam that separates a large reservoir from the River Vesdre at Eupen in the east of Liège Province.

The experts conclude that the severity of the flooded would not have been reduced regardless of what operational decisions had been taken by those managing the dam. In the aftermath of the flooding some had suggested that it had been made worse by poor management decisions at the Eupen Dam. 

Moreover, the experts say in their report that the flooding could have been even worse without the Eupen Lake Reservoir and the dam. “Without the dam the disaster would have been even more catastrophic, and we can’t link the flood disaster to the management of the dam”.

The report goes on to say that the Vesdre Valley remains extremely vulnerable to flooding. 

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