Articles & Case Studies

Flood early warning system now in safe hands

Posted: Tuesday 22nd December 2015

With climate change the frequency of floods that can put people and infrastructures at risk is increasing. In order to be better prepared for them, the European Flood Awareness System – EFAS – has been fully operational under the Copernicus emergency management service since 2012. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is now starting a project for the further development and operation of the EFAS Meteorological Data Collection Centre.

KISTERS, the solutions provider for water management, together with the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) of the German Weather Service (DWD), have won the contract for the Copernicus project. The new system will gather measurement data from all participating countries on precipitation, air temperature, wind speed and direction, and will then validate, manage and store it in a central database.

This consistent European pool of data will enable scientific evaluation using standardized methods. The linkage of measurement data together with weather and runoff forecasts will, moreover, support reliable flood forecasting up to ten days in advance. Appropriate early warnings will be automatically sent to both the national and regional flood control centre of the EFAS member states as well as the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). The technical basis for the data centre is the water management information system WISKI, which reports, evaluates and disseminates the meteorological situation several times per day. The system is designed to be able to integrate and process rapidly growing volumes of data of the future. High-performance validation methods and the real-time processing of high resolution time series round off WISKI’s range of service.

The European Flood Awareness System has been operating under the patronage of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service since October 2012. This institution’s objective is to prepare member states optimally for climate-related catastrophes.




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