Flood protection is an integral part of society's development. Meeting a growing vulnerability in the context of geopolitical and global changes, existing systems of natural hazard management must be reviewed on a regular basis. This is illustrated well by Bavaria's recent history. The lessons from the big floods in the period of 1999–2013 led to a fundamental modification of Bavaria's integral flood protection strategy. The concepts of flood risk management, resilience and dealing with extreme flood events which exceed standard structural design limits came to the fore. Management of flash floods and other floods, handling of potential retention areas, the inclusion of insurance, resettlement, and the burden of maintenance are further challenges which are briefly addressed in this paper.