GeoSmart Information, the innovative environmental reports and data business, has announced that it has agreed a new contract to provide the Flood Forecasting Centre with groundwater flood forecast alerts through to Winter 2020/2021.
The Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC), a partnership between the Environment Agency and the Met Office, has been working with GeoSmart on a pilot daily groundwater flood forecasting service for the last three winters.
The unique forecasting tool is built on live telemetry feeds of groundwater flood forecast levels, predicted rainfall data and Geosmart’s modelling approach.
As part of the new contract, GeoSmart will increase coverage by implementing new forecast boreholes. Rainfall predictions from weather forecast models will be used to drive the 16 day groundwater forecast which can be extended to 30 days based on climatology data. Groundwater forecasts are run for carefully selected indicator boreholes distributed over the chalk and limestone aquifers of England that are most susceptible to groundwater flooding.
A web map supports an easy assessment of risk and forecast data is also available for direct import into other applications. The tool indicates high risk locations on a map of the UK through a GIS style interface, indicating those areas where groundwater flooding is possible.
Forecast hydrographs for key indicator boreholes indicate the current situation and forecast trends for groundwater levels with a range of scenarios.
FFC will use the groundwater flood forecast service to support operational decision making on groundwater flood risk for the Flood Guidance Statement and FFC Monthly Outlook (providing a 30 day high level look ahead) products.
Hydrogeology experts at GeoSmart are on standby to support interpretation of the groundwater flood forecast on a daily basis as required.
Approximately 11% of the mainland Britain is at risk of groundwater flooding, according to GeoSmart’s national groundwater flood risk map . FFC deliver a 24/7 hydro-meteorological service to ensure the responder community of England and Wales are better prepared for flooding.
“We have invested significant time in our research and development activities to create the service, with the aim of sustaining it as a long term commitment to our clients” said Paul Ellis, Managing Director, GeoSmart Information.”Groundwater flooding the hidden and least understood type of flood risk. Recent research has shown that it can leave a longer and more damaging impact to property assets than other types of flooding. “
“Our goal is to ensure that groundwater flooding is taken as seriously by communities and businesses as much as the more obvious flooding from rivers. Our role in supporting the FFC’s capability on groundwater forecasting is to ensure that England and Wales are best prepared for flooding in all forms and not fall regular victim to one we know less about.”