Floods, erosion and landslides are naturally occurring processes in and along Norwegian rivers. During a flood a river will erode, transport and deposit sediments and this process forms the natural river landscape and creates a dynamic and diverse river environment.

These processes can however also cause considerable damage to houses, roads and other infrastructure situated along rivers. Debris flows and quick clay landslides can occur suddenly, with little or no forewarning and can, in extreme cases take lives.

Many settlements in Norway have, from early on, been situated along rivers. In some places this was due to the lack of other available land and in others due to utilisation of the river as a means of transport. Norway does therefore also have a long history in flood and landslide protection.

NVE administers a comprehensive flood management system that includes guidelines and expert guidance in land use planning, planning and financial assistance for building physical flood protection works such as levees and embankments, a flood warning system, mapping programs for flood inundation and quick clay slides and an emergency preparedness system.