New Afrodite Seminar
"Advancements in Flash flood Early Warning Systems: the IMPRINTS project contribution"
Prof. Daniel Sempere-Torres - Professor at the Civil Engineering School of the Universitat PolitĂ¨cnica de Catalunya and Director of CRAHI
CAMPUS SAVONA MA 218 | 10.00 AM | 01.03.2013
Prof. Daniel Sempere-Torres, is the Coordinator of the FP7 project IMPRINTS (IMproving Preparedness and RIsk maNagemenT for flash floods and debriS flow events).
Floods are the most important natural hazard in Europe, and flood risk management is a critical component of public safety and quality of life, not just for the severe damages caused by floods, but especially for their important social impacts.
During last 50 years important efforts to improve flood warning systems have been carried out by the scientific, institutional and administrative sectors, as well as by engineering practice. However, the achievements for Flash Flood forecasting have been not as impressive as in the case of riverine floods, and the general conviction is that implementation of active risk management strategies and Flash Flood and Debris Flow (FF/DF) forecasting and early warning systems are the most effective way to increase preparedness and mitigate their associated risks in the territory.
Many previous EU funded scientific projects have gone deep into the understanding of the nature and dynamics of FF/DF from the phenomenological point of view, but, unfortunately, the application of the results has not conveniently reached the operational world up to now.
Under this premise, the challenge of IMPRINTS has been to improve preparedness and risk management in FF/DF events through the implementation of operational tools, specifically designed to be used for the practitioners responsible for flood risk management and associated effects and damages.
The Project has been able to integrate in an Early Warning operational platform the developments produced by the 19 partners, including hydrological warnings based on the rainfall forecasted by meteorological models (few days in advance) and by weather radar networks (few hours in advance). The platform is able to transform the anticipation provided by the rainfall forecasts into hydrological forecasts, and also to combine these hydrometeorological forecasts with the available information about vulnerability and flooding risks, providing a full Early Warning System for Flash Flood and Debris Flow risk management.
Thus, the IMPRINTS platform is a major development to support the EU Flood Directive implementation, and specifically an advanced tool to support the development of the flood risk management plans required by the Directive.
It has been designed to be easily adapted to any basin in Europe over the coverage of meteorological models and radar networks, and it has been tested on 6 river basins in Europe under the close collaboration between researchers and decision-makers.