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Making Flood Forecasting More Effective

As Southern Alberta worked to rebuild following the floods of June 2013, attention shifted to predicting and preventing future disasters. Could flood forecasting in the province be better? In January 2014, The Government of Alberta looked to Stantec to find out.

The Alberta Environment and Sustainable River Forecast Centre (ESRD-RFC) has clear objectives and operating procedures for monitoring the flow rates of rivers and creeks throughout the province, but they needed a system to measure success, and identify where they could improve.

Stantec’s experts from across North America including Phillip Mutulu, the former director of flood forecasting for Manitoba, worked with flood forecasting centres from Canada, the U.S., Switzerland, Scotland, Germany, Australia and Belgium to document and review existing performance measures. The size and diversity of the team meant they could go beyond the expected number of reviews, evaluating more options to make the best plan for Alberta. According to Seifu Guangul, the project lead and senior water resources engineer in Winnipeg, “The project showcases the depth and breadth of Stantec’s local and global flood hydrology expertise. It also shows Stantec’s versatile and seamless business model that allows us to work in unison around the world.”

While it will be some time before the effectiveness of the recommendations is measurable, we’ve combined lessons learned from Alberta, and around the world to help protect communities from future flood disasters.

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