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article imageNew Software Developed to Predict Floods

By Carol Forsloff     Jun 7, 2009 in Environment
Across the globe, flooding is becoming widespread. Software that can predict flooding can be helpful in the planning for people and property. With advanced warning lives can be saved and property protected.
In the UK flooding causes an annual damage of about 1.5 billion, which is expected to increase to 3.5 billion in the next few years. Flooding is a widespread and devastating natural disaster across the globe. In China during the past 10 years flooding has been of special consequence, and among the worst times in record in terms of human and economic losses. Establishing a means to predict the problem can be invaluable.
A project at King's College London led by Dr Hannah Cloke and Dr Yi He from the Department of Geography is anticipated to be the solution to prediction of floods.
Hannah Cloke says: "The new system will satisfy many unmet technological demands in the field of flood prediction and risk analysis, and will bring significant benefits and commercial value to the private and public sector in addition to the many lives we hope it will save! We have already received significant interest from industries and governments, and are excited to take the project to the next level with the development of a commercial prototype."
Other software systems previously developed didn’t do a number of specific things, according to experts, like the following: They often fail to
(1) incorporate multiple weather forecasts and post-forecast data processing into one system to achieve reliable flood warning,
(2) assess uncertainty and risk of an ensemble forecasts and
(3) provide Application Programming Interface (API) Web services with interactive flood risk mapping. The utility and feasibility as well as the commercial potentials has already been demonstrated both in the UK and in China, tests that were supported by the Natural Environment.
Floods are particularly devastating. Around the globe there are numerous reports of what has happened or is scheduled to happen. Reuters reports Botswana has experienced abnormally heavy rains. More are expected. The Red Cross declares nearly 4,000 people so far have been displaced in March of this year by floods that have been among the worst ever seen.
In the United States in March 2009 the State of North Dakota was particularly hit hard by flooding, with whole regions of the State declared disaster areas. Communities were shown sandbagging as the waters rose abruptly and critically over many areas. In late May Brazil was reported to be experiencing severe flooding. 260,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the northeastern part of the country.
The Midwest is experiencing severe floods right now, as reported by CBS on June 6. New Zealand has experienced severe flooding; in fact flooding is one of its most severe hazards. Terrible floods occurred in South Wales, Australia in April. Forecasters say what is happening now is just the beginning.
The above is just a glimpse of some of the places that have flooded recently or flooding now. Given these risks continuing, having a software program to detect these occurrences would help emergency personnel get in place while individuals and businesses could go about making early preparations and taking precautions. The announcement of a new software program to do this is likely going to be welcomed by many people this season forward.
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