SPONSORED CONTENT: Integrated catchment modelling – evaluating flood risk from multiple sources


It’s not a new message but it is an important one… urban areas worldwide are seeing an increased frequency of extreme, high-intensity storm events that cause severe flooding. As professionals working in water and environmental management, Jacobs has an important role to play in helping society respond to this challenge.

Technological advancements have and will continue to play an important role in helping to improve our understanding of how different flood mechanisms affect the whole catchment.

Recent improvements in integrated catchment modelling and visualisation techniques have greatly enhanced our ability to precisely understand the interactions between surface and sub-surface flows. This has allowed for collaborative planning and design of resilient blue-green flood mitigation solutions that work with the neighbourhood fabric.

Flood Modeller, Jacobs’ industry-leading river, floodplain and urban drainage modelling software, provides an integrated catchment modelling solution, all within an intuitive user environment.

The rapid growth of urbanisation has led to building homes, businesses and infrastructures on floodplains. More frequent intense rainfall events, as a result of climate change, have led to many existing urban drainage systems exceeding their capacity. It is paramount to be able to quickly and accurately understand the risks and implement the appropriate response measures.

Whether it is to build flood management infrastructure to avoid or redirect flooding in the first place or put in place adequate emergency plans to evacuate residents and protect infrastructure, flood modelling is the first point of call and it needs to be fast, comprehensive and accurate.

Case study: integrated catchment modelling at Flanshaw, Wakefield, UK

Jacobs’ 1D urban solver and 2D solver were used to model a highly urbanised area in Yorkshire, UK. Properties in the small 0.81 sq km, largely urban catchment of Flanshaw experienced surface flooding from Flanshaw Beck and the surcharging of manholes. A better understanding of these flooding mechanisms led to improved information on flood risk within the catchment.

The upper and middle parts of the catchment are steep and culverted. The lower part of the catchment is culverted and includes a short section of open channel. The catchment discharges, through an outfall, into a watercourse.

For this study, a combined 1D/2D model was considered the best approach to simulate the flows through the catchment and obtain more accurate flood extent outputs.

Image: Flanshaw Beck model flood extents, source: Jacobs

Jacobs benchmarked Flood Modeller’s 1D urban and 2D ADI solvers (linked) against two other widely available software products. The results showed Flood Modeller to be up to 49 per cent faster, with any differences in flood level results, between software products, within currently accepted modelling tolerances – the Environment Agency Minimum Technical Requirements, and CIWEM’s Urban Drainage Group code of practice for the hydraulic modelling of urban drainage systems 2017.

The percentage of flood extent overlap between Flood Modeller and the other software products is up to 79.2 per cent; this was higher than the overlap between the other two software products.

With more than 40 years of dedicated development, Jacobs’ Flood Modeller software provides a fully integrated modelling solution which transforms Jacobs’ flood risk modelling. To learn how to apply Flood Modeller to your projects, attend Jacobs’ next urban modelling training course. Click the link to claim your CIWEM discount voucher

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