Modelling of pluvial flooding at local scales

The urbanization, and consequently, the high degree of impermeability of urban areas, along with the effects of climate change, are increasing the flooding occurrence in cities and its consequences during severe rainfall events. The AA-FLOODS project works in the modeling of torrential rains runoff at local scale for different settlements in Andalucía (Spain). One of ...

Modelling of pluvial flooding at local scales

In Prevention AA-FLOODS includes a complete set of actions to respond the challenges of Floods Prevention at Local Scale.
It begins with a Diagnosis of the Atlantic Area policies against Floods:
preventive planning, institutions involved, warning systems, emergency protocols will be analysed to allow AA-FLOODS the development of useful and transferable products for the AA. 

Once the Diagnosis is approved, the partners will work on a proposal to coordinate Territorial Planning with Risk Plans.
Contributions will be made to Directive EC 2007/60, regarding new risks generated by urban developments which do not drain rainwater causing flooding by run-off in lower-level neighbourhoods, or act as barriers that dam the water. 

Before concluding the Diagnosis, partners specialized on the matter will lead the improvement of the resilience, through sensitization and training the Local Communities most exposed to the floods. 

In parallel to the Diagnosis it will start the development of a Pilot Experience whose results will allow a Local Action Plan against Floods to be elaborated next, with contributions from all the partners. 

The Pilot will map 400km of sanitation networks and place a mesh of rain gauges in 6 cities, to model torrential rains runoff and the capacity of sanitation networks to evacuate them in the scenarios that can be raised in the AA (flat or steep cities, cities affected by rivers or tides, inland or coastal areas).




Analisys of the AA States Policies against Flood Risks

Policies against Flood Risks includes:
Action Protocols, Institutions involved; Infrastructures; Alert & Response Systems; Preventive Planning; Cartography, Meteorology and Hydrology data sources and formats; Normative coordination between Land Use Planning & Risks Prevention.
This will ensure useful outputs immediately transferable to all AA regions for AA-FLOODS.

Atlantic Area International Diagnosis will highlight areas for improvement, and establish the ways for Project’s results transference to the EU 2007/60 Directive and to AA States (to National, Regional and Local Authorities).



Coordination between Territorial Planning and Risk Prevention Plans

Preventing construction in floodplains no longer avoids the risks to people and property: the urban developments themselves, which do not drain rain and generate floods by runoff, or the infrastructure that hinder overflowed rivers generate great disasters and must be evaluated under new paradigms.

Under this Action Guidelines and Proposals for the Coordination between Territorial Planning -Urban Planning – Risks Planning will show the way to incorporate flood risks generated by urban developments themselves, as a criterion to evaluate and approve Territorial and Urban Planning Plans. Andalusia and Algarve will be the Case Studies.

The goal is the development of new approaches, procedures and regulations for the coordination between urban planning and risk prevention:

  1. Improve the legislation applicable in Territorial Planning in the AA, to incorporate the integrated planning of the Territory and the natural and human Risks.
  2. Make proposals to update the EC Directive 2007/60 on Floods.




Improve Local Communities Resilience

Resilience is a matter of cities but also of the Local Communities that periodically suffer floods. The project will develop a Manual and successive awareness raising and training workshops with the local population in the cities under Pilot Experiences, for the preparation, recovery and psychological overcoming of the shock, with segmented messages (by age…), for greater effectiveness.

Resilience protocols will be validated in emergencies throughout the project and will be improved with an iterative methodology.
Its conclusions will be incorporated into the Local Flood Action Plans.

 Local communities’ empowerment is a way to improve risk prevention, recovery and regeneration. We’ll boost their involvement in Local Action Plans to reinforce the resilience, safety and security of the population, strengthening resilience and planning capacity.



Pilot 1 – Torrential Rains RunOff at Local Scale

Modelling Torrential Rains Runoff at Local Scale for Prevention and Crisis Management (Evacuation, Infrastructure Management …).
Using the 3D cartography that will be developed on Early Warning actions, plus a urban mesh of rain gauges, and sanitation networks 3D mapping, AA-FLOODS will model scenarios of torrential rains runoff, its evacuation by sanitation networks, and the combined action of rivers overflow (that will be modelled in Early Warning and Crisis Management work packages) in 8 cities that suffer periodic flooding with different casuistry (coastal, inland, flat, sloped). The tests will improve the design and operation of urban networks and will be reflected in above mentioned Local Action Plans.

Outputs will be the Pilot regulations and tools for enhanced design of sanitation networks based on modelling with Free Software apps torrential rains runoff and networks evacuation. Free modeling tools and new regulations will allow Water Companies to improve the sanitation networks capacity to vacate torrential rains. Runoff simulations will contribute to Local Action Plans against Floods exceed the current Emergency Plans.

As a result, AA-FLOODS will help mitigate the damages caused by torrential rains associated with Climate Change by improving the design of urban sanitation networks. This is a way to incorporate Water Companies that operates Sanitation Networks onto Flood Prevention and Crisis Management, providing for them runoff simulation tools and guidelines to improve the design and management of the networks that evacuate the rainwater.



Local Action Plans for Flood Prevention & Emergency Management

The EU needs specific Local Action Plans for Floods, because of its devastating power and the specialized management they require. Plans that establish intervention protocols (involving local staff), and take from Pilot 1 the methods and criteria for flood simulation that specify evacuation, escape and shelter zones.

A Model for Local Emergency Plans against Floods will be developed among all the partners. It will determine different scenarios and corresponding action protocols, foreseeable damages, affected areas, evacuation routes, shelters.

The expected result is to Reduce human and material losses through Local Scale Flood Risks Management Plans. Indeed, the Development of a Local Flood Action Plan Model could serve as a guide in the AA to improve Prevention and Crisis Management at the Local Scale, and would be enhanced with the participation of all National, Regional or Local Administrations competent in Environment, Infrastructure and Emergency management.