Case study

National Flood Warning & Mitigation Service

Developing a fully scalable flood management and mitigation service.

The consortium of Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd and Ambiental is developing a fully scalable flood management and mitigation service that augments current national procedures provided by both the Meteorological Office and Environment Agency (via the Flood Forecasting Centre) and the Cabinet Office (COBR) and their associated network of Local Resilience Forums. It addresses specific challenges articulated by these HMG end user groups during Phase 1 consultations and workshops, as well as meeting the requirements of the Environment Agency for flood extent delineation, of DEFRA’s desire to put flood mapping products on everyone’s desktop and the desire of the Cabinet Office for accurate early warning to assist in their preparation and response procedures.

These objectives will be achieved by combining the significant developments achieved in Phase 1 by both Telespazio and Ambiental, producing an innovative flood warning and mitigation service that draws upon existing technology and solves current complex limitations, such as real-time urban flood extent mapping with new technologies.

The objectives of the proposed National Flood Warning & Mitigation Service are as follows:

  • The production of twice daily delineated flood extents, including urban regions using satellite data and when combined with sophisticated flow modelling will be able to provide near real time flood forecast updates to derive accurate flood extents during incidents.
  • The automation of processing chains set out in Phase 1, reducing time needed for flood map updates enabling higher levels of autonomy and reactivity within government for producing flood warnings.
  • To construct an innovative web mapping service that has the scope to become a critical tool in UK flood crises, that allows through connection to the ResilienceDirect™ portal Category 1 & 2 responders access to up to date satellite flood mapping.
  • The creation of a web mapping service that draws on multi-source data to create an enhanced situational awareness of flood events by exploiting crowd sourced data, drone-derived imagery enabling real-time in situ visualisation on current flooding from local to national scales. To meet public service dissemination expectations, this will be available via the Internet and for the first responder community in particular via ResilienceDirect™
  • The creation of a sustainable commercial model, based upon the development of satellite flood maps, through modelling to provide quantifiable loss information for the (re-) insurance market and critical national infrastructure owners.

A complete project comprising an automated flood warning web mapping service will provide real-time flood data to user groups responsible for the warning and resilience of destructive flood events across the UK. The project is due to finish in March 2017.

Published 24 October 2016