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UrbanFlood Newsletter 4 - January 2012

In this edition:

2nd UrbanFlood Workshop 2011
Boston UrbanFlood Multi-Touch Demo
Water Boards and UrbanFlood on Dutch television
Groningen threatened by flooding
UrbanFlood at the ICFM5 in Tokyo


  UrbanFlood Newsletter



January 2012

UrbanFlood is a project under the European Union 7th framework Programme* that develops and tests an internet based early warning system (EWS). The project started in December 2009.

Project coordinator Robert Meijer: “Right now we are half way, and I am quite happy with the progress. The project is achieving its goals, we deliver a software factory that generates EWS as promised and the EWS technology that we have developed for dike monitoring and flood safety is really setting new standards. Our interactive decision support is shown at many places, the most recent in the control room of the impressive St Petersburg dam. In May and June BBC World News showed our technology five times to a global audience. Personally I think that the largest achievement was to start monitoring a dam in Australia from Europe. As trivial it was to achieve this with the UrbanFlood EWS factory, it really shows how the information society will tackle large scale issues in our human society and our environment. It shows how the internet will organize human and machine intelligence all around the world to tackle serious issues.”

The project is carried out by a consortium of Cyfronet (Poland), HR Wallingford (United Kingdom), OOO Siemens (Russia), STOWA, TNO and University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

This newsletter informs about the progress and impact of the UrbanFlood project.


2nd UrbanFlood Workshop 2011
‘Intelligent dike monitoring for the 21st century
- Experience in Embankment Monitoring"
Thursday 3 November 2011 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The second UrbanFlood Workshop was held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Thursday 3 November 2011, as part of the activities of the International Water Week Amsterdam (IWWA). A total of 50 experts from several countries and continents exchanged knowledge on dike and dam monitoring and explored possibilities for cooperation. While in November 2010 the focus was on the plans of UrbanFlood, this year the demonstrations and UrbanFlood presentations showed how much progress has been made since then. Judging from the animated discussions during the breaks and the questions during the sessions the workshop was certainly a success.

 We would like to express our thanks to Waternet for the use of their beautiful congress hall with the great view of the Amstel River and Amsterdam.

For an impression the presentations are available on this website ( You can also view the programme, the abstracts and a list of participants.
Follow this link.


Boston UrbanFlood Multi-Touch Demo

The Urban Flood project selected Boston, England as one of the pilot sites for an Early Warning System. It is now online, with sensors linked via the Internet to predictive models and emergency warning systems.

Boston, Lincolnshire (UK) is a town on the East coast of England, where more than 11,000 homes and 900 businesses depend on the ongoing maintenance and improvement of tidal defences to reduce the risk of coastal flooding. The main area of the town is a little inland from the coast but is affected by tidal rivers in which the tidal range is about 6m.

The Boston Visitor Centre at Black Sluice is now home to a Multi-Touch screen. The Multi-Touch screen hosts the ‘dashboard’ developed by Urban Flood. The ‘dashboard’ automatically runs a demo, guiding the public through the tools used by researchers and engineers to access to several sites around the world and monitor the flood defences. The demo is an interactive and educational tool, which can be used to inform the public of the risks of flooding and how new technology can help us manage flood risk in the future. The storm in early December showed how well the system worked.

                                                                                 Source: Storm data from the UrbanFlood Dashboard

Water Boards and UrbanFlood on Dutch television
‘the Netherlands from Above’

7 January 2012

Episode 6. Water: friend or enemy?
10 January 2012, on TV ‘Nederland 1’

The ‘Afsluitdijk’, the Delta works, the fight against water has resulted in flood protection works that we in the Netherlands can be proud of. But anyone who thinks that the fight against the water is completed is wrong. A breach of a dike is the biggest threat that our small country faces. Using sensors, we will be able to monitor the dikes better. How UrbanFlood can help is explained by our very own project manager Nico Pals, halfway episode 6, on TV, January 10.

this link (Dutch) for information on all episodes.


Groningen threatened by flooding
6 January 2012

The heavy rainfall that accompanied the storms of early January have led to critically high water levels in the northern Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland.

On Thursday (5 January 2012), a dike near the Groningen town of Tolbert was in danger of collapse, but the situation could be contained. The next day the condition of a dike along the Eems Canal became critical. About 800 inhabitants of several villages along the canal had to been evacuated for several days. Project manager Nico Pals explained in interviews on regional TV channels how sensor techniques can help the authorities in closely monitoring critical dike reaches.

Download PDF article Expatica.Com or read more on Euro News



UrbanFlood at the ICFM5 in Tokyo
14 October 2011

On 27-29 September 2011, the 5th International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM5) was held in Tokyo, Japan with more than 450 participants gathered from 40 different nations throughout the world. ICFM5 is the only international conference focused solely on flood related issues, organised every 3 years. This year the theme was: “Floods: From Risk to Opportunity”.
As Japan and the world were shocked by the news and images of the March 11, 2011 mega-quake, tsunami and the horrible aftermath, this once in a thousand year event clearly underscores the need for preparedness and continued research into ways to prevent or reduce flood damage and protect life and livelihoods.
UrbanFlood was well-represented in this important flood management conference, with a poster presentation by Jonathan Simm entitled “Instrumenting the performance of levees as part of real-time flood management: an application of the EU UrbanFlood project at Boston UK” [pdf], and two parallel session presentations: “Smart Levees” by Bernhard Lang, and “Flood Warning Systems: sensors and the internet” [pdf] by Bob Pengel. All three were well received. Several other presentations underscored the importance of using new ICT and sensor techniques to increase flood safety.




14 February, 2012: UrbanFlood European Commission Review,
Waternet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

29 March 2012: Yearly Kennisdag Waterkeringen (Knowledge Day Flood Protection, in Dutch). Registration at the website.

30 – 31 May, 2012: Consortium meeting and Advisory Board Meeting,
Krakow, Poland

20 - 22 November, 2012: 3rd and final UrbanFlood international workshop during the 2nd European Conference on Flood Risk Management (link)
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

For the most recent details on events see ... more



UrbanFlood Newsletter


For inquiries regarding this newsletter you can contact the UrbanFlood webmaster, Jacqueline Bredius at If you would like to receive this newsletter please send her an e-mail with your contact details: name, organisation and e-mail address. To unsubscribe you can send an email with the title or text ‘unsubscribe’.



UrbanFlood is a European project under the EU 7th framework Programme*. For more details please visit the UrbanFlood website www.urbanflood.euor contact the project coordinator: Robert Meijer (TNO The Netherlands)









* UrbanFlood, a project funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme, Theme ICT-2009.6.4a. ICT for Environmental Services and Climate Change Adaption. Grant agreement no. 248767. Project from December 1, 2009 until November 30, 2012


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