Flood events are the world’s most frequent natural disasters affecting a large number of people and assets. Flood is defined as ‘a covering by water of land not normally covered by water’ in the European Union Floods Directive 2007/60/EC. Human activities, such as agriculture, urban development, industry and tourism, contribute to an increase in the likelihood and adverse impacts of flood events. It is thus important to establish flood risk management plans focused on prevention, protection and preparedness.
The ultimate goal of the Flood Hazard activities in BEYOND is to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage, economic activity and infrastructure. In the context of the implementation of BEYOND, we have established the following services:
- BEYOND’s FLOODS OBSERVATORY for Greece & South-Eastern Europe registers major flood events and publishes the flood mapping results produced following the processing and photo-interpretation of satellite optical and radar images.
- BEYOND’s Floods Monitoring Service FloodHub monitors all the flood events in selected river basins and publishes the flood mapping results produced following the processing of Sentinel-1 images from the Hellenic National Sentinel Data Mirror Site (the first fully automated process).
NOA has signed a MoU and established cooperation with the Directorate of Hydroelectrical Production of the Public Power Corporation S.A. Hellas (PPC S.A.), as there is a mutual interest in the field of studying floods and developing a methodology for monitoring and management of flood risks. The contribution of PPC S.A. covers the provision of relevant expertise and information derived from the processing of the in-situ collected data of the hydrometeorological network operated by PPC S.A., and data relating to the management of the hydrological basins under study. Our first area of interest is Arachthos river basin (1.850 km2), a river with several flood events, just upstream of the city of Arta, where PPC S.A. is operating two hydroelectric plants.
NOA also cooperates with the Special Secretariat for Water of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, as this authority is the relevant authority in Greece for the implementation of the European Union Floods Directive 2007/60/EC.
NOA has a twinning with CIMA Research Foundation in the framework of BEYOND, given CIMA’s expertise in the floods monitoring and modelling. CIMA has developed the Flood-PROOFS (Flood-PRObabilistic Operational Forecasting System), a system which is operative in real time since 2008, designed to assist decision makers during the operational phases of flood forecasting, nowcasting, mitigation and monitoring in small and medium catchments (areas of the order of some 103 km2), typical of Mediterranean environment. Flood-PROOFS includes the Continuum model, a continuous distributed hydrological model that strongly relies on a morphological approach, based on a novel way for the drainage network components identification, and with a possibility of using satellite data. In the framework of the BEYOND Project we considered it important to adapt and implement a system such as Flood-PROOFS in Greece, because Greece is also a country with flash floods and catchments of small and medium size, with no operational system so far for flood forecasting, nowcasting, mitigation and monitoring. Our first case study is Arachthos river basin.