Environmental regulators launch new flood prediction tool

A database with up-to-date information from almost 1,000 gauging stations across the UK has been launched to help professionals make more accurate flood predictions.

Primarily aimed at professional users of the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH), the database will share information provided by the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Rivers Agency of Northern Ireland.

The new internet-based HiFlows-UK system builds on the FEH, enlarging the dataset by 40% and providing readings from 962 stations throughout the British Isles.

By bringing together information from the three separate regulators HiFlows aims to provide a single authoritative dataset for the UK, as well as making it as accessible as possible by broadcasting the figures on the internet.

The system was put in place thanks to a £1.07 million Government grant.

“HiFlows-UK underpins flood risk management in the UK,” said project manager Peter Spencer.

“This important new source of data for flood estimation will be used over a range of applications, for example, the design of flood alleviation schemes, floodplain mapping, and flood risk assessments.

“There has been considerable interest from practising hydrologists and engineers, who will have ready access over the internet to up-to-date flood data and supporting information such as graphs, photographs and notes on data quality.”

By Sam Bond

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