We are thrilled to announce the release of our second newsletter! In this issue of the FLOOD-serv Newsletter you can get informed about our latest activities and news.

The past months have been pretty busy with the organization and conduction of workshops in the project’s main pilot cities (Genova, Tulcea, Bratislava, Bilbao, Famalicão). The main aim of the workshops was to ensure that the user’s needs are truly addressed by the project.

Moreover, the project enjoyed plenty of media coverage in the past months both on the TV and in Newspapers and magazines.

Lastly, you will be able to learn more about the project’s latest appearances in major events. Also, the current newsletter issue is featured in Joinup

Click here to read the Newsletter in its entirety!

A pro-active and personalised citizen-centric public service platform dedicated to specific emergency actions on flood occurrences is going to be implemented and harnessed by integrating existing components. An emergency management console including a GIS component will be the core of the platform and will manage the other components: risk and crisis events monitoring and situational awareness, social media, territory monitoring system, citizen direct feedback and sensors network.

The main goal of the platform is to help public authorities in the prevention, intervention and recovery of flood emergency situations and to link citizens, public administration and authorities through social media and mobile technologies. Transparency and citizen involvement will be key factors in the process which aims to provide valuable information during emergency events.

In planning and collecting user requirements, a round of workshops was organized in the five pilot cities of Genova (Italy), Tulcea (Romania), Bratislava (Slovakia), Bilbao (Spain) and Vila Nova de Famalicão (Portugal).

Following the fifth and final workshop held in Vila Nova de Famalicão (Portugal), the analysis work has been put forward among the stakeholders.  As a result, user requirements related to all the five components of the platform are ready to be structured and refined before we start the first round of development.

Not only have the user requirements been elicited but also the expectations regarding the user interface and functional aspects have been set up along with all possible overlapping aspects that might encumber the integration process.

As soon as the final version of user requirements analysis is submitted, a first version of the user interfaces based on latest specifications, is going to be designed in a law fidelity visual prototype. This way we put the basis of the integrated components into our platform by allowing the end users to check, test and improve the proposed visual prototype.

Be sure to stay in tune with all the project developments. You can stay connected with our team simply by registering the FLOOD-serv’s newsletter on the project’s website and by following us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The acute problem of floods occuring in recent years in the region of Bratislava was discussed on Zapadoslovenska televizia and our project partners from BSK and Exdrwarf explained how the FLOOD-serv project will help the public as a flood protection system.

Our project partners, Karin Bartosova (BSK) and Tomas Koren (Exdwarf) gave an interview on TV Bratislava about the flooding of the Danube River, the problems that the river creates in the Bratislava region and the solutions that our project provides in order to help the public to avoid disasters by using the FLOOD-serv warning system that will be developed. You can watch the full interview here.

Radio Regina in Slovakia interviewed our project partners, Karin Bartosova (BSK) and Tomas Koren (Exdwarf) about the flood warning system that FLOOD-serv will develop and explained how it will help habitants in Bratislava region as well as across Europe. The interview is in Slovak and you can listen to it here

The city of Bilbao was the host for the fourth project workshop.  The FLOOD-serv project is supported by the Mayor of the City of Bilbao, Mr. Juan Mari Aburto Rique, who provided an official welcome for the project team in the Arab Hall of Bilbao City Council, while Mr. Andoni Oleagordia, director of the local Civil Protection, opened the workshop which was held on the 17th and 18th of January, 2017.

Participants saw firsthand the Bilbao use case and had the opportunity to learn about the existing solutions and technical infrastructure available in their city.  A boat trip through a number of flood susceptible areas provided a better understanding of the flood risks in Bilbao and the use case itself.

On the second day of the scheduled workshops, Cellent and Ano project partners presented a number of Live demonstrations of various technical components of the platform. The workshop ended with a discussion that outlined the technical solutions FLOOD-serv presents that will work hand in hand with the existing infrastructure of Bilbao.

In all, the main objective was the identification of the needs and requirements of the City of Bilbao and the preselection of the FLOOD-serv components for the implementation of the use case.  Thanks to the active participation and the lively discussions of the project partners ANO, Answare, Cellent, Exdwarf, Siveco and the representatives of the City of Bilbao the workshop was fruitful in succeeding this.

On the 26th and 27th of January the fifth FLOOD-serv workshop was conducted in the city of Famalicão. The first day the workshop was hosted by Vila Nova de Famalicão at Casa do Território, Parque da Devesa while the second day was hosted by ANO at its headquarters

Dr. Ricardo Mendes, Vice-president of the municipality of Famalicão, gave the opening speech on the first day of the workshop. After the welcoming, the overview of the FLOOD-serv project was introduced to the public, followed by the detailed presentation of the use case in Famalicão (Presentation of existing solutions and technical infrastructure in Famalicão and of the technical components of the project).

On the second day of the workshop two live demonstrations were presented. The first one was a demonstration of how to collect information from various social media channels in the case of emergency and merge them into the emergency management system; the Emergency Management Console was presented following that.

The main objectives of the workshop were to promote the understanding of the existing solutions in Famalicao from the technical partners. Also, to inform Officials and organisations in Famalicão dealing with flood-emergencies about the FLOOD-serv project and to outline technical solutions and integration of FLOOD-serv with the existing solutions.

The FLOOD-serv workshop in Bilbao, Spain was featured in the February Issue of Bilbao Newspaper (No. 322) with the title: ‘Flood Service-Meeting’ jardunaldiak. The article briefly consisted of information concerning the event, the location it was conducted and the topics that were discussed.

The R&D project FLOOD-serv aims to prevent the floods’ disastrous effects through social networks and smart technologies. SIVECO Romania is the project’s coordinator at European level

Floods produce human tragedies and huge economic loss, having at the same time serious and irreversible consequences for the environment.
The entire Europe is facing natural disasters of outstanding scale.

  • According to public data, in Romania, floods and storms have recently resulted in a loss of 76 lives and caused at least 1.66 billion Euros damage (meaning the equivalent of 2.1% from Romania’s GNP). They have affected about 656,392 ha agricultural lands, 10,420 km of roads, 23.8 km of railways, 9,113 bridges and foot bridges and contaminated 90,394 wells. The Danube Delta, a special habitat, is especially affected by floods. Here the weather phenomena and human actions have produced over the past century significant changes to ecosystems and to the area’s morphology.
  • In Italy, since 1944 until now, the estimated cost of the damages produced as a result of earthquakes, landslides and flooding amounts to 242.5 billion euro (approximately 3.5 billion per year). 82% of the municipalities in the peninsula are exposed to hydrologic risk and over 5,700,000 people live in areas with potential flood risk.
  • Slovakia was faced with 599 floods, just in the first ten months of 2014.
  • In the Iberian Peninsula too, floods have had considerable impact on people’s lives and properties. In Spain have been identified 1,398 places where major floods take place periodically. The Portuguese hydrographical network, composed of 12 rivers shared with Spain in the West, has the same high risk of calamity.

The risks related to flooding in the large hydrographic basins, on the territory of several countries can be reduced through transnational, interdisciplinary approaches within international projects, in which all parties are co-interested.

Such a transnational approach is the research European project FLOOD-serv, developed within the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The project’s overall objective is the development of an application providing personalized citizen-centric public services.FLOOD-serv contributes to increasing the citizens’ involvements in the risk areas, harnessing the collaborative power of ITC networks (networks of people, knowledge, sensors) to raise awareness of flooding risks and to identify solutions for risk mitigation and coordination of response actions in case of calamities.

Practically, we are talking about an information system which is correlating intelligently a huge volume of information on flooding, collected from a wide range of sources (sensors, social media and open data) and which it makes available to beneficiaries (citizens and public officers), on any kind of fixed or mobile device (tablets and smart phones, laptops and PCs).

„The Flood-serv project considers the social impact as a key development factor. It is not limited to the development of “online communities”, but it also takes into account all the situations that people face in everyday life. The only viable and thorough solution against vulnerabilities, including the natural ones, such as flooding risks, consists in changing the people’s behavior. Therefore, the Flood-serv platform is based on content generated by citizens, mediating the connection between them and the responsible public authorities, through social networks and mobile technologies”, states Monica Florea, this project’s coordinator and manager of Research & Development Projects Department within SIVECO Romania.

The FLOOD-serv European platform will be implemented by 12 partners from 7 countries (Austria, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy and Belgium) within pilot projects in regions with a high flooding risk: in Italy (Genoa Municipality), Romania (Danube Delta region), Spain (Ayuntamiento de Bilbao), Slovakia (Bratislava region) and Portugal (Vila Nova de Famalicão region, near Porto). The platform FLOOD-serv will be implemented within the above mentioned regions following the actual scenarios involving in an active and participative manner both citizens and public authorities in the respective areas.

SIVECO Romania is the project coordinator at European level, and the project partners are as follows: cellent AG (Austria), ANSWARETECH S.L. (Spain), NGO Government To You (Gov2u) (Belgium), Municipality of Genoa (Italy), Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development Tulcea (Romania), Ayuntamiento de Bilbao (Spain), ANO, Sistemas de Software e Serviços, LDA (Portugal), Exdwarf consulting s.r.o. (Slovakia), Prefecture Institution of Tulcea County (Romania), Bratislavský samosprávny kraj (Bratislava Self-Governing Region) (Slovakia) and Municipality of city Vila Nova de Famalicão (Portugal).The duration of the project is 36 months, during August 1st, 2016 – July 31st, 2019.

“We are extremely honored to coordinate a project of such importance and scale as FLOOD-serv project. Although we have participated over the past years in numerous European research projects in which we have been national coordinators, this is the first Horizon 2020 research project where we are fulfilling the coordination mission at European level. In fact, SIVECO is among the few IT companies in Romania holding so far such a responsibility. We consider this mission as an additional confirmation from the European Commission of our specialists’ value”, says Florian Ilia, President & CEO of SIVECO Romania.

The general functionalities of FLOOD-serv platform are:

  • Prognosis and warning – through collecting, processing, analysis and dissemination of information collected by citizens and its processing by using intelligent technologies
  • Stimulation of the citizens’ online communication and facilitating the collective decision making process by reducing the flooding risk with help of social networks
  • Raising awareness on crisis situations and coordinating the emergency actions.

The solution can be adjusted in order to be used also for other types of emergency situations, not just in case of flooding. Regarding the performance criteria, the information system supports the storing and processing a large data volume and is designed in order to have a real time response speed, during the critical events.

This press release was originally published on SIVECO’s website

Position: Hydrologist at the Slovak hydrometeorological institute

Country: Slovakia

Valéria Wendlová is an Advisory Board Member for the FLOOD-serv project. She has been working as a Hydrologist at the Slovak hydrometeorological institute for the past 13 years. In the past she has worked as the head of technical department at the Bratislava water company. She holds a Diplom Ingenieur from the Slovak technical university and has completed the Course of hydrological forecasting methods, probabilistic statistics forecasting methods.

Position: Deputy Director of services of the City of Bilbao in the Area of Works and Services

Country: Spain

Pedro Luis is an Advisory Board Member for the FLOOD-serv project. He is the Deputy Director of services of the City of Bilbao in the Area of Works and Services. For more than 14 years he has worked as deputy director of civil protection. He studied Technical Industrial Engineering and holds a Master’s Degree in Construction Engineering. Moreover he holds a Higher degree in occupational risk prevention and has completed an Advanced Program in Local Public Management between others.

Position: FLAG Danube Delta President and Director Tulcea Water System Administration

Country: Romania

Connov Paul is an Advisory Board Member for the FLOOD-serv project. He is the FLAG Danube Delta President and Director Tulcea Water System Administration. He has worked as an engineer on multiple projects. In the past he studied Engineering at the Politechnical Studies Institute in Bucharest, he holds a Masters in Public Management, he has a degree in Communication, negotiation and conflict management, Waste Management and in Expert Nuclear Radioprotection between others.

The Danube Delta Institute for Research and Development Tulcea organizes the 25th Symposium “DELTAS AND WETLANDS”. The event will take place from the 18th to the 21st of May in Tulcea, Romania.

The Symposium will cover the following topics:

Section I: Biodiversity and nature conservation
Section II: Environmental factors, Ecological Restoration & Anthropic Impact
Section III: Natural Resources & Socio-economics
Section IV: GIS & Application System Modeling

Moreover during the symposium the FLOOD-serv will be presented to the attendants.

You can read more about the event here

Slovak Hydro-meteorological Institute (SHMU) officially joined project FLOOD-serv as external advisor (Ing. Valeria Wendlova) and sensoric data-provider. Exdwarf and SHMU have signed on 1st March 2017 a memorandum of cooperation that will enable FLOOD-serv platform realtime usage of data such as weather forecasts, water levels or satellite images.

The Danube Delta Institute for Research and Development Tulcea organizes the 25th Symposium “DELTAS AND WETLANDS”. The event will take place from the 18th to the 21st of May in Tulcea, Romania.

The Symposium will cover the following topics:

Section I: Biodiversity and nature conservation
Section II: Environmental factors, Ecological Restoration & Anthropic Impact
Section III: Natural Resources & Socio-economics
Section IV: GIS & Application System Modeling

You can read more about the event here

The CLARITY project will support European Member States in their pursuit for greater trust, transparency and efficiency within their open eGovernment initiatives and highlight best practice within this field. More specifically, CLARITY will:

  1. Mobilise and engage with the multidisciplinary network of stakeholders across the European open eGovernment ecosystem;
  2. Conduct an interactive needs assessment and gap analysis in order to understand gaps in the market to support the growth in innovation in open eGovernment applications;
  3. Work with the open eGoverment network to develop a blueprint for the future of open eGovernment in Europe.

Project Coordinator: Trilateral Research, UK
Project Contact: Thordis Sveinsdottir – [email protected]
Project’s start date: 01/03/2016
Project’s web page: www.clarity-csa.eu

The first official meeting of our project was held in Bucharest, Romania 15th-16th of September, 2016.

SIVECO S.A. Romania, project coordinator, was the host of the meeting which gathered the FLOOD-serv consortium in the same city.  Also joining in, was Ms. Hinano Spreafico, the European Commission’s officer responsible for the project. Continue reading “FLOOD-serv project kicks off in Bucharest 🗺”

Basic Steps to Prepare for the Storm

  • Contact the local county geologist or county planning department to find out if your home is located in a flash-flood-prone area or landslide-prone area.
  • Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.

Continue reading “Key Facts About Flood Readiness – how to get prepared for a flood”

Written by Lorenzo Alfieri, Luc Feyen, Peter Salamon, Jutta Thielen, Alessandra Bianchi, Francesco Dottori, and Peter Burek, the article mentions that “_River floods generate a large share of the socio-economic impact of weather-driven hazards worldwide. Continue reading “Research article “Modelling the socio-economic impact of river floods in Europe””

Heavy rains caused big floods in Europe from France to Ukraine, leaving 18 reported dead victims and thousands of people that needed to flee their houses.

Floods still leave governments unprepared, even though scientists and researchers regularly warn about the consequences of climate change, as there is growing likelihood that the warming climate will make bouts of flooding and other extreme weather more frequent. Continue reading “Copernicus “Floods in Europe are not surprising for the scientists””

River and coastal flooding have affected millions of people in Europe in the last decade. They affect human health through drowning, heart attacks, injuries, infections, exposure to chemical hazards, psychosocial consequences as well as disruption of services, including health services. Continue reading “European Environment Agency “Floods and health””

Search teams in the Bavarian town of Simbach am Inn found the bodies of three people who had been trapped in a house and a woman was found dead by a nearby stream. In central France an 86-year-old woman lost her life. Continue reading “BBC News “At least five people died in flooding across France and Germany in June 2016””