The Integrated Flood Analysis System of ICHARM

Tropical storm Stan off the coast of Australia (image source: NASA)

The International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), operated under the auspices of UNESCO and the Public Works Research Institute of Japan (PWRI), has developed a concise flood-runoff analysis system as a toolkit for more effective and efficient flood forecasting in developing countries.  This Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) integrates data on rainfall gathered from satellites and ground stations as a way to estimate runoff conditions which can be used to forecast floods.   Runoff conditions are estimated combining rainfall data, the digital elevation model and the corresponding land-use data for the basin.  The hydrological analysis model was developed by PWRI and is based on a kinematic wave hydraulic model.  The graphical interface used in IFAS was developed through a collaborative effort involving researchers from ICHARM, PWRI and several private companies.

With the aid of an additional modules called Auto-IFAS, the system is able to download satellite information, load ground-based data on rainfall, perform the corresponding calculations and issue a warning in case of floods.  In this fashion, IFAS can contribute to flood early warning systems worldwide. 

Version 2 of IFAS, launched in June 2014, allows for faster operation when compared with previous versions and has been fitted with the capacity to import geospatial data on soil and geology, thereby allowing for the incorporation of these parameters in the runoff analysis.  In version 2 of IFAS, rainfall distribution and river discharge data can also be exported to the Google Earth environment through a KML exporter function.  

Version 2 of IFAS can be downloaded from the link:

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