Press release Environment protection

Riga, 22 February 2021 - Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) in a timely coordinating of flood and flood prevention measures, as well as to manage and coordinate, if necessary, a flood response, mitigation and recovery package, established a special operational management group for the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development State Secretary under the leadership of Edvīns Balševics.

Artūrs Toms Plešs (AP!): “We've enjoyed the lavish winter this year, but as the spring approaches, it raises concerns about potential floods that can hit individual municipalities and their residents. . We have set up a special operational management group at the Ministry, which will take the necessary steps and work with other responsible parties to ensure operational redeployment. U. I call on all municipalities to assess, in an objective and responsible manner, the potential risks and action plans in the event of a real threat to the municipal population, property and the environment. . The local authorities and the responsible services must be fully prepared to react quickly and effectively."

On Thursday, VARAM inform the Cabinet of Ministers regarding flood prevention measures and the state of play, by submitting an informative report entitled “On the timely preparation of possible spring floods and floods”.

Today, the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (LVĢMC) will disseminate the first forecast on the likelihood of flooding in Kurzeme and Vidzeme. In general, information at the disposal of the LVGMC shows that the spring pala process will take place during the last and first week of February in the Venta and Lielupa basin rivers. For places in the Kurzeme and Zemgale rivers, water levels will rise by 0.5-2 m, and in the event of congestion by another 1-2 m. . In Lielupa, due to the terrain of its pool, ice jams can be created at several stages of the river: near the coast, Mežeta and Jelgava. Ice jams can also occur in the tributaries of Lielupe.

In the Vidzeme and Latgale rivers, the maximum spring water levels and flowrates, as well as the beginning of ice travel, will depend on the speed of the spring process and the amount of rainfall in March. Under favourable weather conditions, gradual and slow temperatures and low rainfall levels, the flooding process could be rolled slowly without rapid changes in water levels that would cause major floods. However, during the spring flood period, wriggling under the ice may pose difficulties in the passing of ice I. Overall, water levels in rivers have been low, but this year there is a relatively thick blanket of snow, both in Latvia and in Belarus, which will certainly affect ice walking in Daugava. In general, the current data at the disposal of the LVGMC shows that flooding is expected for places in Vidzeme and Latgale, but it is too early to talk about their extent.

Today, the Ministry's officials and representatives of the LVGMC met at a meeting convened by the Minister to gather up up-to-date information on the potential size and future behaviour of spring floods and floods.

In the case of floods, according to the competence arising from the State Civil Protection Plan, flood prevention measures are carried out by a number of related institutions, primarily - VARAM, LVGMC, local government, civil protection commission of local government cooperation territories, VUGD, Latvenergo, State Police and local government police, etc.

Information prepared by:
Public Relations Department
Ministry for Environmental Protection and Regional Development
20200305; 67026533,