Flood forecasting is the use of real-time precipitation and stream flow data in rainfall-runoff and stream flow routing models to forecast flow rates and water levels for periods ranging from a few hours to days ahead, depending on the size of the watershed or river basin. Flood forecasting can also make use of forecasts of precipitation in an attempt to extend the lead-time available. Flood forecasting systems are fundamental to Civil Protection organisms to take decisions during flood events for reducing flood risk and for safeguarding people and infrastructures.
For 20 years PROGEA has been designing and implementing real-time flood forecasting systems in Italy and abroad, using the proprietary software EFFORTS. Our typical customers are Civil Protection agencies with whom we have studied functionality and graphic interface of the system to offer the best comprehensibility, completeness and flexibility.
EFFORTS was born in 1991 as result of a research and development project financed by the European Union in China, in the basin of the Fuchun river (province of the Zhejiang).Today it is a GIS package for environmental monitoring and real-time flood forecasting that works in fully automatic way: it connects to data acquisition systems, validates and stores hydro-meteorological data, manages runs of numerical models and visualizes results.
Numerical models contained inside the system allow end users to face all aspects of flood forecasting, from spatialization of precipitation measurements, to rainfall runoff processes, to flood wave propagation inside ricer reaches.
Designing and implementing the system
The planning and implementation of a flood forecasting system is a tailor-made job to suit specific needs of every single catchment and of every single customer. PROGEA works in continuous collaboration with end user's technicians to implementation, calibration and installation of the system. Every EFFORTS system is built after an in-depth analysis of forecasting needs and available data.
EFFORTS system includes proprietary modeling codes for flood forecasting base on PROGEA's software, but it is able to integrate the most widespread commercial models (for example HEC-RAS) or models developed by the client himself. The implementation and calibration of numerical models can be integrally realized by PROGEA's experts.
Once the system has been built, it undergoes an accurate test phase for verifying its behavior in occasion of the main recorded flood events.
System management and training
Installation of EFFORTS at customer's premises is followed by training for technical staff. Training activity can include training on hydrology, river hydraulics and numerical modeling for flood forecasting, and it can be fitted to different users' skills.
Fundamental characteristic for every real time system is reliability. For this reason, PROGEA offers a full-time maintenance service to guarantee full efficiency of EFFORTS system in every moment and in particular during severe hydro-meteorological events.