Real time flood forecasting: Problems, possibilities and proposed solutions

Ezio Todini
University of Bologna, Department of Earth and Geo-Environmental Sciences, Via Zamboni, 67, 40127 Bologna, Italy. Tel: +39 51 354 537, Fax: +39 51 354 522,
E-mail: todini@geomin.unibo.it

The paper describes the objectives and the state-of-the-art of real-time flood forecasting by discussing the problems and the possibilities offered by the presently available measurement and modelling systems. In addition, the paper shows the need for a Decision Support System (DSS) for Inundation Risk Evaluation and Emergencies Management from the emerging requirements for a holistic approach to flood management, recently advocated at national and EU levels. As a logical consequence, the paper proposes the development of FLOODSS, a DSS responding to the need of an integrated tool for planning and management that. It takes advantage of available High Performance Computer platforms, and allows: (1) to locate areas at risk and to estimate expected damages; (2) to forecast floods and inundation phenomena on the basis of real-time analysis of the present meteorological situation and of forecasts available at different time and space scales; (3) to evaluate the effects of decisions aimed at reducing social, economical and environmental damages on the basis of planned or real-time forecasted scenarios; (4) to allow continuous training of personnel.