US: Global leaders in geospatial technology and time series information systems, Esri and KISTERS, have committed to support the first National Water Model that enhances flood forecasting to reduce the risk of weather-related deaths and loss across the United States. The commitment was made in conjunction with the United Nations' World Water Day, before the White House. Identifying at-risk populations and helping inform strategic decision-making is the ultimate goal.
KISTERS will integrate flood-relevant data from local and national sources into the model, and launch a pilot later this year. Partnering with Esri will result in managed data-processing and spatial-analysis workflows that advance research in streamflow and flood inundation forecasting for 2.7 million stream reaches and 6,600 sub-basins in the U.S. upon full implementation of the model. The combination of forecasts and other pertinent information will be freely available online and visualized through interactive online-mapping applications.
"Esri and KISTERS share a vision of how our combined technologies can be leveraged to address big water issues and we're excited about the value this initiative provides to the community," says Steve Kopp, Software Program Manager at Esri.
The private sector IT firms will collaborate closely with academia and NOAA to build on the success of the National Flood Interoperability Experiment, a project of the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin.
"Integration of Esri and KISTERS tools has made my dream a reality," remarks Dr. David Maidment of UT Austin, "It's enabled us to synthesize isolated data streams and create an online world of open and accessible water data that is significant for flood emergency management operations."
Driven by climate change, severe weather events are increasing in number and scope worldwide. Consequently they increase population vulnerability. In particular floods cause much damage and lead to fatalities. Preparedness and situational awareness are crucial to protecting lives.
Matt Ables, COO at KISTERS affirms, "The National Flood Model brings together the foremost experts in hydrological, meteorological, spatial, and temporal analysis to provide a common operating picture to national, regional, and local emergency agencies and first responders."