Royal HaskoningDHV is part of the project team developing a forecasting and early warning system (FFWS) for five Eastern European states in the Sava River Basin to improve the resilience to flooding or drought.
Since 2016, Royal HaskoningDHV has worked with Deltares, Eptisa, the Hydro-Engineering Institute Sarajevo, independent flood expert Mihailo Anđelić and local authorities on the project. After an extensive development period, the system will be tested in operational conditions from April through to July 2018. Following this test period, final improvements will be made and the definitive version (2.0) will be delivered.
This FFWS is a very special project because of the number of countries surrounding the basin of the Sava (97,700 km2): Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. There is also a very small section of the basin in Albania. Each country has its own models, monitoring systems, forecasting systems, water authorities and interests.
This new uniform system is intended to bridge these differences and enable cooperation in water management. The consortium had three tasks: setting up an effective organisational structure, ensuring that the right information gets to the right place at the right time and organising training for the stakeholders.
Activities in the next few months
Over the coming months, the focus will be on features such as user-friendliness, data access and exchange, procedures and performance indicators (forecasting accuracy). Users will also ensure they share their experiences as much as possible. RoyalHaskoningDHV and Deltares and will be organising training for local authorities in the coming months, both via webinars online and on location.
“This transboundary early warning system will allow the different stakeholders to make informed decisions which can then be implemented to prevent and mitigate severe flood and drought situations,” says Hanneke Schuurmans (the Royal HaskoningDHV project leader).
Klaas-Jan van Heeringen (the Deltares project leader) adds “This project brings together all the current state-of-the art knowledge about hydrological forecasting itself, as well as the expertise required to use a system like this effectively if conditions get challenging”.