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The city of Birmingham lies in the Minworth catchment in the West Midlands. The Severn-Trent water company is responsible for asset management in Birmingham. RPS consultants have developed a hydraulic model for the Minworth area’s drainage system which has 135,000 nodes. The model has a total sewer length of 6,670 km, which includes all of the surface water system for the catchment and covers a total area of 44,750 hectares and a population of circa 1.5 million people.
Imperial College London has partnered with LGiU, an independent registered charity for local government, to provide a link between Birmingham City Council, key partners and local citizens to involve and engage with FloodCitiSense using the Urban Living Lab methodology. This has included citizens from a Local Flood Action Group (Selly Park South), Environment Agency, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Severn Trent Water, RPS and Birmingham City Council.
Located in the Senne river basin, the capital of Belgium and Europe was originally home to abundant streams, rivers and swamps. Following a strong urban development supported by hygienist urbanism, most surface water disappeared underground. Altough rivers were also covered in an attempt to prevent floods, this still complicates flood management today. Nowadays, Brussels-Capital-Region counts about 1.2 million inhabitants for a total surface area of 161 km2, more than half of which is impervious. Although recent politics have taken a turn towards a more ecological management of water, the whole region remains drained by a combined sewer system, which facilitates pluvial floods.
In this pilot, HYDR-VUB and EGEB asbl have recruted over 20 citizens around the Brussels FloodCitiSense community to help gather localized rainfall and flood data. Together with local stakeholders (Brussels Environment, SBGE and Vivaqua), we work towards building an early warning service for pluvial floods.
The city of Rotterdam is located in a low-lying area in the delta of the Rhine and Meuse rivers in the Netherlands. The city counts more than 640,000 inhabitants, spread over a heavily urbanized area of 257 km2, with more than half of the total area being paved or semi-paved. Most areas of the city are drained by a combined sewer system (c.a. 1,800 km) whereas the remaining areas are drained by a separate sewer system (500 km). Historically, stormwater systems in Rotterdam have been designed to be able to cope with rainfall intensities of approximately 20 mm/h over short time windows of 10-15 minutes with an estimated in-sewer storage capacity of 10-12 mm.
FloodCitiSense aims to build a rainfall measurement network, with approximately 15 rainfall sensors, across different districts in Rotterdam. Meanwhile, we also recruit and encourage local citizen to use the FloodCitiSense App to observe urban flooding. In doing so, a database of rainfall and flooding can be set up in Rotterdam.
Citizens are actively involved in the monitoring of rainfall and pluvial flooding, making use of low-cost sensors and web-based technologies.MORE INFO