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Wallingford Software’s solutions match flood report modeling requirements

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Courtesy of Innovyze

Water UK’s report on ‘Lessons learned from summer floods 2007’ highlights a need for better flood forecasting tools that Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks CS, RS and FloodWorks are perfectly aligned to meet. The water industry’s trade body set up a review after the devastating flooding that hit many parts of the country and overwhelmed the Mythe water treatment works in Gloucestershire, leaving thousands of Severn Trent Water’s customers without tap water for days. Emergency services battled successfully to prevent the inundation of an electricity sub-station whose flooding would have left thousands without power.

The review was independently chaired by Professor Sir John Baker, and the membership of the review group was a prestigious collection of water company key executives: Anglian Water’s Group Chief Executive, Jonson Cox, Northumbrian Water Managing Director John Cuthbert, Scottish Water Chairman Ronnie Mercer, and Wessex Water Chairman Colin Skellett.

A wide and comprehensive range of respondents contributed to the review process, including many of the water companies, DEFRA, a range of local councils and police bodies, the Environment Agency, the Consumer Council for Water, Ofwat, insurers’ representatives and a number of other key stakeholders.

Critically, recommendation three of the recommendations for Water UK, under the headline ‘Assumptions’ reads: “Water companies and Water UK should continue to work with the environmental agencies to build on existing generic and company specific flood forecasting tools to include, for example, depth as well as extent of flooding, and in particular to identify key infrastructure, such as treatment works, pumping capability, and the siting of emergency centres and supplies, that may be at greater risk than currently understood.”

Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks RS Sales Manager Tyrone Parkinson explains that three of the company’s solutions are perfectly placed to help companies achieve these targets. “With its long history of extensive use within the UK water industry, users have amassed an incredible number of models within InfoWorks CS. The solution also now has a very capable overground flooding functionality with the new 2D module.”

It is possible to link models of flood events directly to river models created in the river systems modeling solution InfoWorks RS, via Wallingford Software’s flood simulation and forecasting solution, FloodWorks, which is able to run models from both its sister solutions.

This capability enables users to accurately gauge the effects of interactions between urban network events and river systems, which is critical in enabling a comprehensive understanding of a major storm event. The results can also be displayed on an intranet or website, allowing visitors to create predictions for their own situation if required.

Mr Parkinson notes: “It is also easy to identify key infrastructure at risk using InfoWorks CS and RS as various layers can be added to models such as LIDAR data, which provides extremely accurate ground levels, and mapping, which provides the required data on the location of assets.”

Conversely, these capabilities can also be used to enable emergency centres and supplies to be located in optimum sites - where they are as close as possible to the locations where they may be needed during flood events, but safely out of the path of any flooding. Such information can be quickly modeled to whatever return period the operator judges to be appropriate for a particular flood event.

Operators of networks that rely on pumping can also use InfoWorks CS’ capabilities to predict the effects of heavy rains on their systems and the time of impact of the floodwaters, and use the modeling to tailor pumping regimes to optimise system performance.

Mr Parkinson adds: “We are confident that the solutions we have are exactly what the water industry in the UK needs to achieve the targets set out in Water UK’s report. As many of the companies already use our solutions, it will be a simple matter to combine them to form an extremely powerful and versatile tool to overcome this critical, and fundamental challenge.”

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