Flooding in the Sava river basin, where Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia meet, killed 79 and caused considerable economic damage in 2014. To support the countries mitigate future risks, a consortium of consultants have joined forces to create a cross border Flood Forecasting and Warning System.
The risk of flooding continues to create costly headaches for prone regions across the globe. Changing weather patterns, as climate change exacerbates weather extremes, is likely to see increased storms, creating additional risks for prone areas as well as creating new areas of risk.
To mitigate risks, countries are increasingly relying on weather prediction technologies to better predict, plan for and tackle the effects of severe weather. The UK recently launched a Flood Forecasting and Warning System
(FFWS) programme, tapping expertise from CGI, to provide richer flooding related information for key stakeholders – allowing them to better respond, and mitigate, the effect of flooding.
Europe more widely too have contended with considerable flooding in recent years. The annualised cost of flooding comes in at around €4.9 billion annually, which is projected by Nature Climate Change to increase to €23.5 billion by 2050. The other side of the coin, drought, too creates considerable potential for burdens across the continent.
Sava river basin
One area that was hard hit during 2014 is the Sava river basin, which spans 97,700 square-kilometres and includes the boarders of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. The flood resulted in 79 casualties as well as large scale economic damages for three of the five countries in the basin.
To better manage flooding and droughts in the Sava river basin, a consortium, containing Deltares, Royal HaskoningDHV (both Netherlands based), Eptisa (Spanish), the Hydro-Engineering Institute of Sarajevo and the World Bank, have joined forces to setup a cross-border FFWS for the Sava River. The parties will work together with the key stakeholders to integrate and unify the information created by the five different sets of models, monitoring systems, forecasting systems, water authorities and interests.
The consortium will support the different authorities in the region to foster collaboration and the development of a fully-fledged system crossing borders. The Sava project, which kicked-off in June 2016, is planned to be completed by August 2018.
Upon completion, each of the five countries will, according to the consultants, be in a position to make the "right management decisions and deploy key operational measures to prevent and mitigate severe flood and drought situations on the basis of accurate forecasts of flows and discharges with a long lead time.”