As the world comes to terms with life with, and after, COVID-19 – the issue of climate change remains firmly on the agenda; with recent developments only highlighting our impact on the natural world and the need to change course, whilst preparing ourselves for increasingly irregular weather patterns and rising sea levels.
Proper flood resilience for industrial sites – whether they’re ports, production or energy sites – will be particularly important in preparing for the future in which good data analytics and modelling is a crucial factor. But to date it has been a difficult thing to standardise; ensuring the same detail required for specific sites, same information and the same process.
A tool that is intuitive as well as effective
However, at Royal HaskoningDHV we have taken the steps to do just that, creating what we call the Global Flood Risk Tool (GFRT), which provides flood mapping and risk modelling in a simple format that is easy to understand and use.
This is important because while fellow specialists might be able to make sense of complex mapping and reems of technical information – it isn’t helpful for a client, whether they’re a port owner, or leading operations at an industrial site, trying to make informed decisions anywhere in the world.
The tool utilises site specific data analytics, but also encourages standardisation by bringing together data from open data sources to be able to perform assessment anywhere in the world, e.g.: global flood maps, vulnerability curves, land values and land use maps.
The result is an easy to understand tool that collates this information to do analysis for a series of scenarios, climate projections and probabilities, creating detailed flood, damage and risk maps not just for the 1/10 per year or 1/100 per year storm, but also for the 1/1,000 per year or 1/10,000 per year storm – as is the Dutch way!
Measures can be implemented to become resilient against flooding. GFRT directly calculates the financial parameters for business case modelling and provides insight in economical most optimal solutions.
The beauty of the GFRT is that as more data becomes available it is fed into the modelling, meaning it grows more accurate as time passes – and leading with visual mapping makes it almost like a Google Maps for flood modelling!
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Image: Flood damage for 1/10,000 per year event in Port of Rotterdam at Europoort industry complex
The value in preparation
The importance of proper preparation for climate and flood resilience isn’t just born out of necessity in the face of climate change, but also out of the real damages and losses industrial sites are already experiencing due to flooding.
Using the data available, you can get a good prediction of the future impacts of flooding. This allows you to ensure new developments are in the right place, or that current sites are restructured to better protect vital infrastructure.
The savings as a result can be in the millions via the avoidance of risk and damages.
The Global Flood Resilience Tool in action
At Royal HaskoningDHV we have already put our GFRT to work for major global companies and sites. Among them is the Port of Rotterdam. The Port wants to be one of the safest in the world – not just today but in the future – and wants to make the businesses that lease its site aware of the importance of flood resilience. Therefore, they started to formulate adaptation strategies together with their tenants for the whole port.
The Port and its industry complex are located at land reclamations – but being an embanked area, it is its only protection and now that sea-levels are rising, at specific locations the current terrain levels are not always sufficient any longer.
So, we were brought on board and used our GFRT to provide flood and risk mapping and reports on the impacts of rising levels and potential storms – as well as what action could be taken by the port and its industrial tenants to avoid risks, inform future developments and what spend might be needed to protect effectively.
The future is uncertain, now more than ever, but there are ways that we can stay informed and make the best preparations possible.
If you think your project, site, or development could benefit from our Global Flood Risk Tool then get in touch with us today.
Want to know more on Comprehensive flood risk analysis through cloud-computing? Download our whitepaper ‘Ensuring Business Resilience with the Global Flood Risk Tool’.Download our whitepaper