School of Engineering



Developing an international leading capability for real-time surface water flood risk and impacts analysis for cities

Our vision is to provide the tools and methods that allow cities to become proactive, rather than be reactive, to managing surface water flooding.

We will achieve this by developing new physical analytical methods that integrate advanced urban flood hazard models with statistical analytics of big data from multiple real-time data-feeds describing the current state and condition of the city in terms of surface water flood risk and impacts. By coupling physically-based modelling and statistical analytics, we will provide decision makers with improved real-time predictions of surface water flooding to assist in flood mitigation at a range of governance scales; from the individual site through to national emergency and response.

We will deliver this vision via five interrelated work packages:

Work package 1

This work package will develop the data management platforms required for capturing, managing and making available the wide variety of real-time data that will be utilised, including real-time weather radar, environmental weather station data feeds, sewer telemetry gauging, CCTV data and traffic congestion data. Data comes from Newcastle's £1.5m Urban Observatory that includes hundreds of pervasive environmental sensors that currently record ~1million observations per day.

Work packages 2 and 3

Work package 2 will use this data within a new hydrodynamic surface water flood model that employs statistical data assimilation and modelling for improved real-time calibration and parameterisation for surface water flooding. We will use the outputs of the hydrodynamic surface water flood model in work package 3 to parameterise real-time impacts analysis. We will develop the use of real-time data feeds such as:

for improved response and mitigation.

Work packages 4 and 5

Work package 4 will develop the integrated computational workflow and scheduling software required for the tools and methods of work package 2 and 3 to be employed in an operational manner. We will implement an operational 'live' demonstrator of the system in work package 5.

Working with key strategic project partners, the demonstrator will be rigorously evaluated through a series of case studies at the individual site, city and national scale to evaluate how improved surface flood risk mitigation in real-time can be undertaken.