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FAME: Flemish Water Authorities (AWZ-Belgium) ready to use FAME services
The Flemish Water Authority (AWZ, Belgium) is ready to use the DUP FAME services (Flood risk and damanage assessment using Modelling and EO techniques) should a major flooding occurs during this winter in the Flemish main rivers in Belgium.
The DUP FAME project (Flood risk and damage Assessment using Modelling and Earth observation techniques) demonstrated how radar satellite imagery improves flood simulation models. These models can foretell how a river will behave if it does flood, and allow authorities to assess their best course of action. The project also demonstrated how both risk maps and post-flood damage assessments can be made from the output of the improved models combined with land-use maps derived from high and very-high resolution optical satellite data. AWZ has already updated flood damage and flood risk maps in the two river basins Dender and Demer based on the high-resolution imagery. Such products are also of interest to insurance companies.

Users in the project were the Flemish Water Authority (AWZ, Belgium), the Genova Province Water Authority (Italy), the Belgian Federation of Insurance Companies (BVVO) and the reinsurance company Swiss Re (Switzerland).

When it comes to checking the models against historical floods, fully accurate spatial and temporal records can be hard to find. "We find water levels have been recorded, but not always the full spatial extent," explains Project Engineer Ingrid Boey of AWZ. "Aerial photos are often not available, and even when they are, they don't always cover the whole of the flooded area." Historical flood maps derived from radar provide a solution for this. The project not only demonstrated that with Envisat data more accurate flood maps can be provided than using ERS data but, even more important, that even when such flood maps are not very accurate they can still improve the models.

The FAME project is now formally concluded, but AWZ will acquire Envisat and Radarsat data in tandem if further flooding occurs this winter, which would give an effective revisit time of one to two days.

Related links

FAME project

Annex images