The increasing risk of floods in Europe calls for a revision of current governance and management practices. Sweden has not yet experienced flood events of the magnitude seen in central Europe over the past few years; hence flood-risk management is low on its political agenda. This paper investigates the gaps, barriers and opportunities in implementation of flood risk reduction, which to be effective needs to be part of an adaptive river basin management framework. It analyses progress on the ground illustrated by a case study from Kristianstad, the most flood-exposed municipality in Sweden. We conducted a literature review, interviews, a regional workshop and a focus group discussion. The results show that structural flood-control measures dominate in the municipality, mainly due to the prevalence of sectoral approaches, which are reinforced at the national level. There is no integrated and holistic spatial planning model for flood risk management that takes water resources management and green infrastructure into account at the river basin scale. The local planning level therefore needs guidance on a broader set of measures to manage flood risk across sectors. Also, reliance on expert opinion needs to be complemented by strengthened stakeholder participation in the spatial planning process. Future opportunities include synergies between the EU Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive guided by national priorities. Keywords: flood risk management, Sweden, nutrients, wetlands, spatial planning, adaptive river basin management
International Journal of Water Governance

Johannessen, A, & Granit, J.J. (2015). Integrating Flood Risk, River Basin Management and Adaptive Management: Gaps, Barriers and Opportunities, Illustrated by a Case Study from Kristianstad, Sweden. International Journal of Water Governance, Volume 3(3), 5–24. doi:10.7564/13-IJWG30