Recent flash flooding across Spain highlights the vulnerability of communities to protect themselves from such events. Whilst many countries operate early warning systems, gaps still exist in capabilities supporting flood resilience and preparedness.
ANYWHERE is a Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation funded programme aimed at empowering exposed responder institutions and citizens to enhance their anticipation and pro-active capacity of response to face extreme and high-impact weather and climate events. The EU programme is in the final stages of implementing a pan-European multi-hazard platform providing a better identification of the expected weather-induced impacts and their location in time and space before they occur.
As part of the ANYWHERE programme innovation call, in 2018 three new companies were incorporated as partners offering specialist innovation to contribute to the market uptake of the outcomes generated by the project. In the case of flood alerting and forecasting, a novel approach to linking the ANYWHERE products with a community-based approach was successful in being awarded one of the grants and intergated into the programme.
RiverTrack is an innovative solution for community-based flood alerting using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide real-time, local river level information. The system developed by Gary Martin is being adopted by many at-risk communities in Scotland. Gary said, “providing objective, real-time river level information to communities gives them additional crucial time to react and improve local resilience.”
As part of the research grant, linking meteorological forecasts to the river monitoring provided by RiverTrack is being trialled to provide community specific flood forecasts. Commenting on the work Paul Smith from waternumbers said “we’ve been pleased to work within the project to demonstrate the ability of our data based forecasting techniques and FloodForT software to provide a scalable platform for delivering timely forecasts of future water levels to communities.”
Through partnership working on the programme, the RiverTrack solution is now supporting early warning for vulnerable campsites in Catalonia. Within the ANYWHERE programme a tool called A4Campsite has been developed, a flood-oriented Early Warning System for increasing self-protection of camping sites located in flood prone areas. During the past 6 months, testing of this service has been carried out on 13 Pilot camping sites located in the delta of the Tordera River Basin, an area where floods represent a significant natural hazard.
The final conference and workshop for ANYWHERE is taking place on 29th and 30th October in Brussels. The event will include demonstrations of the various programme solutions and innovation.