Flood-PREPARED: Predicting Rainfall Events by Physical Analytics of REaltime Data

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Flood-PREPARED will develop 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

This will be achieved 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 that describe 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, decision makers will be provided 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. This vision will be delivered via five interrelated work packages:

Work package 1 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 package 2 will employ 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. The outputs of the hydrodynamic surface water flood model will be used in work package 3 to parameterise real-time impacts analysis. Using real-time data feeds such as CCTV, social media, traffic monitoring, new predictive models of how impacts evolve and cascade within cities will be developed for improved response and mitigation.

Work packge 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. An operational 'live' demonstrator of the system will be implemented 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.

Planned Impact

Flood-PREPARED aims to change the way that surface water flooding in cities is managed. Beneficiaries of this project are potentially wide ranging across the spectrum of flood governance; from individual site estate and services, through to national emergency planning. Decision makers at a range of levels of government (including national agencies, devolved administrations and local authorities), engineering consultancies, flood risk management, distribution network operators, emergency services and insurance companies will benefit from the improved response to surface water flooding in cities that Flood-PREPARED will provide. Flood-PREPARED has recognised three impact priorities (IPs) around which we will focus our activities in knowledge transfer and dissemination, namely;

IP1: A hub of excellence in physical analytics for real-time environmental risk mitigation.
The new tools and models developed by Flood-PREPARED are firmly entrenched in the rapidly emerging field of physical analytics; the coupling of advanced statistical modelling and physically-based models. Impact of the advances achieved by Flood-PREPARED in this field will be achieved by dissemination in international journals. The research team has an excellent record of publication in top quartile journals in flooding, statistical modelling and big data cloud computing. The Flood-PREPARED consortium is based around open and accessible software development; we will provide an external facing project GitLab from which all new software tools and models developed in Flood-PREPARED can be retrieved. The skills developed by the researcher body during Flood-PREPARED will be highly sought within industry and academic roles. Our researchers will therefore become the next generation of highly trained mathematical modellers and computer scientists to lead the future development of real-time environmental risk analysis.

IP2: A catalyst for improved surface water flood risk mitigation in cities nationally.
The new understanding that will be provided by Flood-PREPARED offers a unique opportunity for the UK over the next 10-years to develop robust ahead of event surface water flood risk mitigation. Our vison is that cities across the UK develop sensor platforms that duplicate that of Newcastle to facilitate this capability. Our case studies have been carefully designed to facilitate the impact and outreach required to initiate this transformation. Co-production lies at the heart of case studies in order to maximise industry relevant outputs that inform real decision making into the future. Via secondments will disseminate our state of the art understanding to industry and develop a portfolio of knowledge of the best practice in implementing such systems in other cities. Understanding of surface water flooding and the risks it poses is recognised as requiring greater attention by key national agencies (e.g., Environment Agency). Flood-PREPARED will actively engage with key national strategic reviews such as the next round of the National Flood Resilience review to provide new insight and evidence to the challenges of developing robust surface water flood mitigation.

IP3: To improve citizen resilience to surface water flooding in cities.
Flooding of property can have a devastating effect on individuals and lead to long term disruption. Our 'community' dashboard will allow citizens to engage with the warning of flooding predicted; thus allowing proactive mitigation by individuals and local communities to potential flood risk. We will work with local community flood groups to establish how the outputs of Flood-PREPARED can be utilised by the individual to improve mitigation.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/P017134/1 01/05/2017 30/04/2021
2279092 Studentship NE/P017134/1 25/09/2017 31/03/2021 Jessica Kate Hepburn
 
Description Initial work on Flood-PREPARED has had an impact on the design and development of data handling and real-time data modelling capability of the UKCRIC Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Geospatial Data Infrastructure Report
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description EPSRC STREAM EngD with Northumbrian Water Group
Amount £140,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description EPSRC iCase PhD award
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ordnance Survey 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description NERC DREAM CDT Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods
Amount £83,836 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description NERC NPIF DREAM CASE PhD
Amount £89,836 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Title CCTV static Image library 
Description Over 5,000,000 CCTV images from 420 cameras around Newcastle upon Tyne 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Open API enabling researcher, public and government to access data. 
URL http://api.newcastle.urbanobservatory.ac.uk/camera
 
Description EPSRC iCase studentship 
Organisation Ordnance Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Research expertise
Collaborator Contribution Full iCase studentship - Modelling sensors from the the kitchen sink to the national grid
Impact New research project
Start Year 2018
 
Title CCTV car detection and time series analysis 
Description open source packages are developed to detect cars from CCTV image series and to further analyze flooding impact on traffic flows 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact No notable impacts to date 
 
Title CCTV data storage and visualisation software 
Description Software to stream 514 traffic CCTV data feeds, data storage and an 'open' API and web-based visualisation software for access. Use din Flood-PREPARED to investigate impacts of surface water on traffic flows. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact None as yet 
URL https://api.newcastle.urbanobservatory.ac.uk/camera/
 
Description Big data and the environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at the Turing National Centre for Data Science workshop on Environmental Data Science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Big data to tackle climate change in cities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Conference on Cities and Climate change, Edmonton, Canada
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://citiesipcc.org/
 
Description Cities Research Theme Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Launch of the University's research theme in Cities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Cities Workshop at the Ordnance Survey 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cities Workshop at the Ordnance Survey with cross-disciplinary academics for project planning and discussion of new proposals and networking
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description DAFNI Seminar London: Real Time Flood Modelling on DAFNI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination event on the joint Flood-PREPARED and EPSRC UKCRIC hack week on real time flood modeling on the DAFNI platform.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dafni-seminar-london-real-time-flood-modelling-on-dafni-tickets-56440...
 
Description Data Research Theme Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Launch of the University's research theme in Data to local stakeholders
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Discussion panel with UK Civil Service Head of Geography 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Discussion panel with UK Civil Service Head of Geography to raise awareness and discuss opportunities for data integration into current government practice and the skills gap
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description EPSRC UKCRIC team visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on Flood-PREPARED research to EPSRC UKCRIC team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EPSRC/STFC UKCRIC DAFNI consultation event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact EPSRC/STFC UKCRIC DAFNI consultation event presentation on handling real time data of cities and infrastructure systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Flood-PREPARED and EPSRC UKCRIC DAFNI real time data modelleing workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Development of the integrated workflow on the UKCRIC DAFNI facility of the Flood-PREPARED models and analytics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.dafni.ac.uk/
 
Description HABITS workshop Leeds University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact HABITS workshop run by Leeds University presenting analysis of Newcastle Urban Observatory data relating to Flood-PREPARED.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited presentation at Applied Urban Modelling conference Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at Applied Urban Modelling covering real time spatial modelling of cities. Generated discussion around future hazard modelling in cities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Joint Nuron and Northumbrian Water Ltd meeting on real time data and monitoring 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Joint Nuron and Northumbrian Water Ltd meeting on real time data and monitoring. Companies presented their technology, Newcastle University presented research in Flood-PREPARED.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nuron.tech/
 
Description NERC DREAM CDT Challenge Week: Talk/hackathon 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact DREAM Challenge Week Talk/hackathon Outcomes: Use of data and tools, awareness; Developed 3 prototype systems using data
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at DAFNI consultation event Innovate Up London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on Flood-PREPARED real-time hazard data and modelling to potential UKCRIC DAFNI users.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to Lloyds Register Data-Centric Engineering programme lead 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to Lloyds Register Data-Centric Engineering programme lead
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.lrfoundation.org.uk/en/news/towards-data-centric-engineering/
 
Description Presentation to President of the Institution of Civil Engineers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Seminar at EAWAG 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on how smart infrastructure can be used to help adapt and build resilience to climate change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Smart sustainability - Data and information as engineering tools to mitigate climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation and workshop attendance at the Global Engineering Congress London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www-smartinfrastructure.eng.cam.ac.uk/news-and-events/csic-hosts-roundtable-at-the-global-en...
 
Description University of Nottingham seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar invitation presentation to geospatial Institute at University Nottingham on real time spatial data modelling. Has lead to initial discussion on collaborative research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Wuthering Bytes IoT event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and panel participation at Wuthering Bytes IoT event. Raised awareness of the real time data monitoring work of Flood-PREPARED.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017