Wales National Flooding Conference 2018

We are excited to be exhibiting at this years’ ICE Wales National Flooding Conference at the Novotel Hotel in Cardiff on 3 May. Our staff will be on hand to talk about our wide-ranging project work across Wales, including major coastal defence schemes and our project to update the National Flood Risk Assessment (NFRA) for Wales.

We will be showcasing the JBA Trust’s augmented reality sandbox, while our recently completed Natural Flood Management (NFM) opportunity and benefit maps will be directly relevant to the conference agenda. Duncan Faulkner, Head of Hydrology, will also be presenting a session entitled ‘Is the past still a reliable guide to the future?’

JBA in Wales

Our approach is underpinned by our knowledge of Wales’ distinct policy, legislative and socio-economic priorities – we help our clients respond to and comply with these; including developers, Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Local Authorities, the third sector and the renewable energy sector.

Our work in Wales is led by teams in Newport and Warrington, capable of serving our clients both North and South, in both English and Welsh languages. Projects range from local Flood Consequence Assessments to some of the largest flood risk management projects in Wales.

Is the past still a reliable guide to the future?

Decisions about investments such as flood alleviation schemes are nearly always based on analysis of information from the past. We assume that past hydrological conditions will be a reasonable guide to what will happen in the future, usually with some adjustment to allow for the possible impacts of climate change. This assumption is becoming increasingly hard to believe given the frequency of severe flooding in some parts of the UK over the past 10-15 years.

There is evidence for upward trends in peak river flows at a third of gauges in Wales, and nearly a quarter of river flow gauges across Great Britain and many rivers show an abrupt increase in flood flows in the late 1990s.

Duncan’s presentation describes the application of innovative hydrological methods that break free from the assumption that past floods all follow the same statistical distribution. The results of this non-stationary flood frequency analysis show that flood flows for a given probability can be underestimated by conventional methods such as the industry-standard FEH, by up to 25% for Welsh rivers.

The results have important implications for the appraisal and design of some flood protection schemes.

Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox

The AR Sandbox is a very interactive visualisation tool that shows how topography affects water moving through a catchment. Participants can shape real sand to create their own catchments which are then ‘augmented’ in real time by a projector which shows a coloured elevation map and contour lines.

By holding a hand above the sand, participants can ‘make it rain’ and then watch how the virtual water flows through the catchment in real time and explore how changes in land use affect flooding.

Want to know more?

Email George Baker for more information on our work in Wales. You can also find out more on our Wales projects in the Knowledge Hub.

If you can’t make it to the Wales National Flooding Conference or would like to discuss if the past really is still a reliable guide to the future, email Duncan Faulkner.

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