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Developing more accurate river flood spatial data for Ireland

Posted: 25-Mar-2019

 Access to more accurate river flood spatial data will allow for improved flood risk assessment in Ireland.

Ireland’s Office of Public Works National Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA), which was completed in 2011, identified areas at significant flood risk across the country. This first assessment included the production of national river flood maps to describe existing and potential flood risk, with a requirement for the maps to be regularly reviewed and updated. Flood risk specialists at HR Wallingford have now been commissioned to produce second generation, higher quality, indicative river flood spatial data.

One of the benefits of having access to higher quality river flood data is that it will allow for improved flood risk assessment for areas outside those zones which have been designated as Areas for Further Assessment. This will be used to inform the second cycle PFRA and subsequent steps. What is more, the new data will also take renewed account of potential climate change impacts on flooding, in line with the Floods Directive.

Emma Brown, Principal Engineer in HR Wallingford’s Flood & Water Management Group, said: “Our work will involve undertaking a detailed hydrological assessment, building two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic models, and simulating multiple scenarios in order to generate more accurate flood spatial data.”

Conor Galvin, Project Manager, Office of Public Works, said: “This detailed hydrological evaluation and hydraulic modelling work is an important part of our ongoing Flood Risk Assessment. It will enable us to produce higher quality and therefore, more accurate, flood maps and information than was produced for the first assessment.”

Work compiling the new river flood data is due to be completed by November 2019.

More information on flood risk management in Ireland is available on the Office of Public Works dedicated website


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