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02 Oct 2015
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The Deltares and the National University of Singapore alliance aims at bridging the gap between science and society by collaborating with governments, universities and businesses and addressing water issues in urbanising deltas’ and Asian cities. The alliance was awarded the Winsemlus Water Award in 2015. On 15 April, Senior Researcher at Deltares, Mr Ruben Dahm shared the latest development in flood modeling – the cloud-based system 3Di.

3Di allows visualising floods of different scale and seeing the extent of the event, the number of people affected, and the impact of possible crisis management measures in 3D in a mere few minutes. The innovative solution for natural disaster management enables interactive flood modelling and stimulates various stakeholders being involved in problem solving and decision-making.

The design and properties of 3Di make it convenient for stakeholders. The system offers realistic visualisations of vast territories based on new ways of getting data, which provide landscape pictures of high resolution.

Do decision makers make different decisions when they use the system? Some research has shown that the sort of issues discussed by a group during a flood modelling exercise changed, with the group discussions becoming more focused on technical issues of crisis management. (…) future research (could) include the applicability of 3Di in focus group discussions with communities and the impact of cultural differences on the usage of the system.

3Di is designed as cloud-based to facilitate collaborative modelling. For example, multiple crisis management actors such as decision makers and response teams can access it simultaneously, and a forecast can be viewed either real time or at a pace 100 to 200 times faster than reality. The platform also allows modelling different scenarios of the crisis, for example, if a reservoir collapses. Likewise, it can show the impact of possible crisis response measures, both immediate (e.g. installing pumps), or those made in advance (e.g. building an embankment). The system can be accessed from a touch-table or any portable device such as an iPad.

The high level of detail, access to technical data in an easy manner, and fast pace of modelling make the system suitable for a broad target group, whether they are water specialists, spatial planners, operational managers and communications advisers, or disaster coordinators. Aside from convenience, 3Di serves multiple purposes that are not limited to strategic flood risk assessment, drills, and crisis management.

Do decision makers make different decisions when they use the system? Some research has shown that the sort of issues discussed by a group during a flood modelling exercise changed, with the group discussions becoming more focused on technical issues of crisis management. However, more still needs to be found whether the decision-making process changes. Other possible areas of future research include the applicability of 3Di in focus group discussions with communities and the impact of cultural differences on the usage of the system.

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On 15 April 2015, Mr Ruben Dahm, Senior Researcher, Deltares gave a talk entitled “Involvement of Practitioners, Policy and Decision Makers in Disaster Management Through Interactive Flood Modelling” at the LKY School. For upcoming events at the LKY School, please visit our website.

Anastasia Rogacheva is a PhD student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Her research interests are in international relations, political economy and development issues in Asia. Her e-mail is decb64_YS5yb2dhY2hldmFAdS5udXMuZWR1_decb64

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