25 Oct 2017

Wisbech to benefit from world’s first application of Royal HaskoningDHV’s TRICO approach to flood management.

Royal HaskoningDHV’s TRICO approach has been selected for a pilot scheme investigating flood management for the 10,000 home Garden Town planned for Wisbech. The pilot project also received the backing of the Dutch government with a 55,000 euro grant from their Partners for Water programme which funds innovative water projects around the world.

Developed in partnership with Nelen & Schuurmans, Deltares and TU Delft, the Toolset for Rapid Interactive Collaborative Optioneering (TRICO) was awarded the innovation award in 2016’s Defra flood management and modelling competition. The toolset uses revolutionary hydraulic modelling tool 3Di, and an interactive MapTable, to allow full stakeholder collaboration when developing flood management options.

Firm foundations for UK’s Wisbech Garden Town | Royal HaskoningDHV
LTR: Jaap Flikweert, Royal HaskoningDHV; Peter Simpson, Anglian Water; Matthijs Houët; Sam Hoy, leader of Wisbech Town Council; John Clark, leader of Fenland Council; Steve Count, leader of Cambs County Council; Steve Barclay, MP.

Speaking of the project Jaap Flikweert, Director of Water Governance and Strategy at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “Wisbech 2020 presents an extremely exciting but also extremely challenging opportunity for the area. Due to the new town’s location on the floodplain some exceptional and innovative approaches will need to be employed to ensure the development is safe and sustainable and gets consent. We’re delighted to have the chance to implement our TRICO on such a nationally significant project.

“The Dutch government’s contribution from their Partners for Water fund will make an important difference to the pilot project. The magnitude of the flood management challenge is reflected in the close interest that will be paid to this pilot both regionally and nationally as the UK seeks ways to safely create new homes and communities and alleviate the national housing crisis.”

Collaborative approach

The pilot project has been commissioned by Fenland District Council and is supported by Anglian Water and as such the TRICO approach is a natural choice allowing as it does full stakeholder collaboration. Taking inspiration from the Dutch approach to flood management the toolset also allows assessment of the social and economic value of flood solutions.

Firm foundations for UK’s Wisbech Garden Town | Royal HaskoningDHV
By using a MapTable suggestions by stakeholder can immediately be visualised

The approach utilises 3Di, a next generation hydrological and hydraulic modelling tool which allows swift visualisation and scenario testing, and allows solutions to be tested during live workshops with input from a range of stakeholders.

Translating Dutch technology

The funding was announced at October’s Wisbech 2020 summit. Speaking at the event Matthijs Houët Senior Commercial Attaché at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London said, “We’re delighted to be able to support this fascinating and ambitious project. We Dutch have plenty of experience with the challenges of low lying land so it is interesting to see how Royal HaskoningDHV has been able to translate ideas and technology and adapt them to create a toolset for the UK context.”

Cllr John Clark, Leader of Fenland District Council said: “The smart technology involved in the flood management toolset reflects our ambition to create a forward thinking, resilient new community which will rejuvenate the area, providing essential new homes and a major boost to the economy. The contribution to the pilot from the Dutch government is testament to the interest and support that our garden town project is attracting.”

The pilot project is starting now and the first stage is expected to take approximately nine months.