1 May 2017

Rotterdam remains at the forefront of climate adaptation following the engagement of a Royal HaskoningDHV-led Smart Water team. The team is assigned to improve the accessibility of data gathered by the city’s Rain Radar, enabling end-users such as traffic information systems and pumping stations to response proactively to extreme weather events.

Installed on top of one of Rotterdam’s tallest buildings, the city’s Rain Radar which measures local precipitation levels is the first of its kind in the Netherlands and forms part of the city’s wider Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

A high volume of data has already been gathered by the radar but a client consortium of the City of Rotterdam, three local water authorities and the province of Zuid-Holland has taken the next step by engaging a team, led by Royal HaskoningDHV and including experts from Nelen & Schuurmans and Infoplaza to ensure data can be translated into better, more accurate forecasting, allowing stakeholders to act proactively on these predictions.

Hanneke Schuurmans, project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV said, “Rotterdam is leading the way in the creation of climate resilient cities. We will work in close corporation with SkyEcho and TU Delft, who are developing specific software to transform the radar signal into rainfall intensities. We will combine this data with data from six other radars and use this to develop forecasts. As a result we will improve our current rainfall images by a factor of 100, making forecasting 100 times more accurate.”

“These improvements will result in a wealth of applications designed to improve the resilience of city services from control of pumping stations and storm water collection to traffic management during extreme rainfall.”

Johan Verlinde, Asset Manager Water, City of Rotterdam said: “Rotterdam is proud to be recognised as one of the world’s leading resilient cities but as climate continues to change and our city continues to grow, we must embrace the available technology to ensure that our infrastructure and residents are better prepared to adjust to those changes.”

Royal HaskoningDHV has extensive experience in the creation of smart water solutions having recently delivered a high profile Flash Flood Forecasting app to the citizens of Ghana and are currently working on a Flood Information System for Parramatta Sydney (Australia). Work on the Rotterdam project started in April and is expected to run for two years. The team expects initial work will be complete by June, allowing the system to catch the intense rainfall events that mostly occur in the summer months.

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Hanneke Schuurmans

Leading Professional for Hydrometeorology & Early Warning

Amersfoort, NL

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More information

Rain Radar Rijnmond website

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