Name: Chris Dodd
Job Title: Associate Director - Environment
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BLOG: HOW DATA AND PARTNERSHIPS COULD MITIGATE A RISING TIDE - 2 YEARS ON
26 February 2020
When we blogged about the evolution of data use in flood risk prediction and management just over 2 year’s ago (Read Our Original Blog Here) we couldn’t have foreseen that the recent spells of inclement weather would be as extreme as they have been but at least we have names for them – Storms Ciara and Dennis. Both occurred in short succession over the past few weeks and of course flood risk management is once again at the top of the news agenda. These follow on the back of flood events in late 2019 when Fishlake became more famous than it perhaps wished to be.
2 year’s on, has anything changed?
Well, we've noticed the increasing use of data being used to more accurately predict flood events and manage response. The Environment Agency have drastically improved their Flood Warnings service in recent times and the live data available can be put to many uses - this being interpreted most publicly by the EA to warn property owners of impending hazard, allowing them time to address the issue and reduce the risk to their assets and if necessary move to safer areas.
The statistics speak for themselves in terms of the increasing use of this data by the public.
The EA having recorded 1.2 million searches for flood risk in England on February 16th alone.
The Flood Warning service also issued 1.95 million alerts in a week across England and Wales showing what a valuable use this data is being put to:
As an advisor on flood risk and management BWB has also used this and other data to help protect our Clients' property assets and allow business continuity. Our flood specialists have worked in conjunction with Deetu (BWB's technology company) and developed a live Location Alerts service to help protect a particular Client's network of national property assets by issuing almost 800 site specific Flood Alerts or Warnings in February alone.
We have recognised that better data enables us to undertake smarter analysis and develop smarter solutions. With 'extreme' events becoming more and more common, we are attempting to adapt and challenge the old ways of analysis to develop new, smarter ones. At BWB and Deetu, we are generating our own data through creation of bespoke flood models incorporating the EA’s latest climate change predictions.
We will use this better data to develop smarter, intelligent solutions for our Clients; to unlock development sites - and ensure they remain safe whilst providing resilience and improvements as we move towards a culture of Environmental Net Gain; to protect property assets, to enable business continuity.
We have come far in the past 2 years and are looking forward to the next 2 with optimism.