Globally, the frequency and magnitude of floods are steadily increasing to a systematic occurrence. Accompanied by loss of lives, damage, and economic loss floods negatively influence livelihoods and well-being in many countries. Around the globe, countries invest millions in flood risk awareness campaigns that have little effect on the actual preparedness and resilience against floods.

Flooding cannot be wholly controlled or prevented due to uncertainties in the magnitude, timing, and geographical extent of floods. A flood forecasting and early warning system is the key flood risk management measure at the basis of increased resilience and preparedness against floods. It allows making critical decisions for early action to minimize the loss of lives, damage, and loss of economical and environmental value.

Developing an effective FEWS requires knowledge of risk, handling substantial amounts of historic and forecast data, such as ground and satellite observations and numerical weather predictions and hydrological and hydrodynamic models, timely and accurate warnings, dissemination and communication, and actual response capabilities.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) strongly advocates for an increase in the availability of FEWS to reach the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At Nelen & Schuurmans, we actively contribute to reaching those targets and shape the development of state-of-the-art FEWS. We combine our knowledge of flood risk, hydrology, and hydrodynamics with our expertise in data science and software development. On the cutting edge of these domains, we specialize in the development and implementation of flood forecasting and early warning systems in countries around the globe.

 

 

 

 

Cases

Flash Flood Forecasting Parrramatta, Sydney

The City of Parramatta frequently copes with flash floods caused by heavy downpours in the hilly catchment of the Parramatta River. The recent flood events of March, in the state of New South Wales, are oppressive examples of how severe the floods can get. Especially during La Nina events, when temperatures of ocean waters along the east coast of Australia increase, the catchment of the River Parramatta receives significantly more intense rain than normal. Events of more than 200mm of rain falls in 72 hours are common and result in flood hazards from the river.

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Flanders Flood Early Warning System

In 2021 the Flanders Environment Agency asked Nelen & Schuurmans to act as a partner in setting up their Delft-FEWS system. In this project, we don’t only have the role of system designer but we are also working alongside the Flemish team of water managers to also teach them how to set up their FEWS system. The team will gradually take full responsibility and ownership over their system so they have to be knowledgeable about all the aspects of Delft-FEWS. We as Nelen & Schuurmans are able to share our broad knowledge on Delft-FEWS and set up the Flemish system alongside the Flemish Environment Agency.

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Training water management, capacity building and implementation of a Decision Support System for Oman

The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR hereinafter) is to achieve a continuous development and progress in agriculture, fisheries and water resources. This mission ensures a healthy environment, balanced construction development and active participation in enhancing infrastructure and public services. This, in accordance with the set standards of quality and adequacy through better institutional and regulative capabilities, expansion in the application of modern technologies, encouragement of creative initiatives and positive activation of the partnership of the public and private sector in the development on the local level. A decision support system is a valuable tool to put these mission statements into practice.

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Flood Early Warning System for the Flood Forecasting Centre in Met Éireann

The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR hereinafter) is to achieve a continuous development and progress in agriculture, fisheries and water resources. This mission ensures a healthy environment, balanced construction development and active participation in enhancing infrastructure and public services. This, in accordance with the set standards of quality and adequacy through better institutional and regulative capabilities, expansion in the application of modern technologies, encouragement of creative initiatives and positive activation of the partnership of the public and private sector in the development on the local level. A decision support system is a valuable tool to put these mission statements into practice.

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Flood early warning in a 3D Digital Twin

As a disruptive new force within water management and spatial planning, digital twins act as a means of accounting for the impacts of design choices in the public domain. This is accomplished through the careful digital modeling of physical objects such as buildings, bridges, and roads or systems and processes like the hydrodynamics of floods.

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Want to know how we can help increase your organization's preparedness and resilience against floods? Reach out!

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