Case Study Description

Cities involved: Aragon autonomous region and includes 4 municipalities of Ribera Alta.
Affected Population: 15,758 inhabitants
Last flooding episodes: 2003, 2007, 2013, 2015

The case study is focused on four of the most affected municipalities by floods in the Ribera Alta del Ebro (RAE) region: Pradilla de Ebro, Boquiñeni, Alcalá de Ebro and Cabañas de Ebro. The region is located in the North East of the Iberian Peninsula, within the administrative boundaries of the autonomous community of Aragón. The area has been considered a high risk of floods area within the Flood Risk Management Plan of the Ebro river basin. Flood events are recurrent and are associated to serious socioeconomic damages. Traditionally different understandings on flood causes and measures for flood mitigation have been present in the area, leading to conflict between different stakeholders. Lately, there is a growing common interest on finding effective measures for floods mitigation, particularly due to the four major flood events occurred in the last fifteen years.

Link to the spanish version

Capacity assessment

The capacity assessment carried out in the area has shown that there is a high degree of collaboration and capacity of organisation in the response phase but not in the prevention phase, where is discerned a margin and potential for improvement particularly in knowledge, finance and participation capacities. Main results of the capacity assessment are: There is significant room for improvement as regards existing knowledge on the riverside population; the local authority is situated in the central position of the knowledge and information dissemination process; the degree of motivation to become involved in the management is high and some social groups have organized informative actions as regards flood risk management, nevertheless there is no social network integrating stakeholders with different opinions, and difficulties on working together are perceived due to the different understandings and interests on flood risk management; there are no consistent networks and no fluent coordination among the whole FRM structure; no specific funding for communities nor innovation on funding sources for flood risk mitigation have been identified; the current management approach does not contemplate public active involvement in flood risk management, although the RBO seems permeable to change.


Pilot actions for social capacity building for flood risk mitigation have been selected with the collaboration of stakeholders and competent authorities. The co-design process is made of 4 main steps: validation of the capacity assessment, identification of potential pilot actions, and selection and organization of pilot actions. These steps have been developed including three participatory mechanisms (and activities): Citizen polling (public comments), public meetings (public hearings) and deliberative workshops (brainstorming). Validation and identification steps have been conducted together through public hearings (presentation of the results of the capacity assessment) and deliberative workshops (brainstorming on potential pilot actions) with representatives of different groups (local, regional, institutional), in Pradilla de Ebro and Zaragoza. Drawing upon the results of the workshops a first proposal of actions has been developed and participants have been asked for comments. After their inputs a final version of the actions has been produced and the organization of the implementation of pilot actions developed.


Two pilot actions will be developed on knowledge and financial social capacities.


Knowledge pilot action consists of the following sub-actions:

– Two field trips (kayaking) on late mitigation actions developed by the RBO and knowledge on fluvial dynamics, one with regional journalists and local school teachers (19th April 5-8pm) and the other one with the general public (23nd April 10am-2pm) in Alcalá-Cabañas. Location: Alcalá-Cabañas river stretch.

– Development of information materials for public use, on competences and instruments related with Flood Risk Management in the region (to be delivered in each action), and information materials containing results of all the actions (to be disseminated after the implementation of all the actions).

– An interpretative field trip (walking) on late flood risk mitigation actions, and interesting points of flood risk dynamics, with general public (7th May, 11am-1.30pm, and 4-6.30pm). Location: Pradilla-Boquiñeni (morning) and Alcalá-Cabañas (afternoon).

– An informative session on principles and obligations of Floods Directive, and information related with the Flood Risk Management Plan (23th May, 10-10.30am). Location: Ebronautas shed (Cabañas de Ebro)

– A formative session on the understanding of floods, oriented to primary school pupils. (16th May, 3-4.30pm). Location: To be decided by the teachers during the field trip.

Finance pilot action consists of the following sub-actions:

– An informative session on urban flood insurance, to the general public (20th April, 6.30-7.30pm). Location: Boquiñeni city council.

– An informative session on agricultural insurances for flood risk mitigation, oriented to agricultural stakeholders (4th May, 7-7.30pm). Location: Cabañas de Ebro city council.

– A formative session on flood-resistant crops, oriented to agricultural stakeholders (4th May, 7.30-8pm). Location: Cabañas de Ebro city council.

– A deliberative workshop to carry out a diagnosis on lights and shadows of flood insurance in agriculture, oriented to agricultural sector (4th May, 8-9pm). Location: Cabañas de Ebro city council.

– Informative session on public funding (european, national, regional) and types of potential projects. Oriented to stakeholders (8th May 6-6.30pm). Location: Alcalá de Ebro city council.

– A deliberative workshop for the development of a project for funding purposes, oriented to stakeholders (8th May, 6.30-9pm). Location: Alcalá de Ebro city council.


Participatory capacity building in Spain [link].