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Flood Modeller 2023

19th - 20th April 2023
Imperial College London


Welcome to the 2023 Flood Modeller Conference

The Flood Modeller conference is back! Book your ticket now to attend one of the industry's premier flood modelling events.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for new and existing users of Flood Modeller to find out more about the game-changing features coming in version 7.0. You will hear from the Environment Agency and other industry leaders, including AECOM, JBA Consulting, Mott MacDonald, Stantec, Tobin Consulting and Wallingford HydroSolutions. With just 150 tickets available, book your place today!

Day 1 - Wednesday 19th April

09:30  Registration


10:00  Welcome and Keynote


10:40  What's coming in Flood Modeller


12:00  Lunch & Networking


13:00  Latest industry developments in flood modelling


14:30  Break


15:00  Case Studies: How Flood Modeller delivered efficiencies and enabled innovation


16:50  Close

Day 2 - Thursday 20th April

09:30  Registration


10:00  Welcome and Keynote


Stream 1

10:40  Flood Hydrology


12:00  Lunch & Networking


13:00  Data Sources


14:30  Break


15:00  How to solve common modelling problems and challenge our experts

16:00  Wrap up


16:10  Close

Stream 2

10:40  Flood Forecasting


12:00  Lunch & Networking


13:00  Data Science and Automation


14:30  Break


15:00  Hands on with the Flood Modeller API

Please note, this event is in-person only, there will be no virtual attendance available. The sessions won’t be recorded.

Day 1 - Wednesday 19th April
Welcome and Keynote
Welcome to Flood Modeller 2023

Richard Crowder

Director Digital Flood Products

Richard will be presenting Jacobs' vision and mission for Flood Modeller. He will set out how each of the sessions will give delegates the opportunity to learn about what’s coming and how others are already benefiting from the latest changes introduced to Flood Modeller.

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Keynote on the Environment Agency Flood Modelling Strategy

Louise Cooke

Deputy Director Evidence and Risk

The Climate Emergency and the changing flood risk, economic and societal pressures this brings, creates a significant challenge for flood risk management and flood incident response. As a country, we face big decisions on how to manage and mitigate the changes in flood risk we are already seeing.

To tackle this emergency, we need good evidence to make good decisions on where to use limited resources most effectively. Producing good flood risk evidence, communicating to users how to use it, and communicating what the uncertainty there is in this evidence, the modelling community faces some substantial challenges. 

  • There is user and developer challenge on ensuring that we are all asking the right questions of our modelling.

  • There is the technical challenge of the model itself as a ‘good enough’ representation of the system we are modelling and the datasets on which we develop and train models.

  • There is the decision making challenge of when is modelling sufficient evidence to address the question is was set up to provide evidence for and what level of uncertainty should be transferred from the modelling evidence to the next part of the risk management chain.  

  • There is a people challenge in attracting and retaining skilled modellers into the industry and in knowledge transfer to non-modellers so they can understand and use outputs effectively whilst understanding the uncertainty and assumptions in the modelled evidence.


These challenges are also opportunities if we, as a modelling community, build this thinking into our model strategy and future developments through collaboration across the modelling community.

What’s coming in Flood Modeller
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New Feature Showcase Presentations

Alex Crowe

Flood Modeller Product Manager

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Bob Potter

Development Manager

Flood Modeller’s Alex Crowe and Bob Potter will showcase the exciting new features coming soon in the software.

Latest industry developments in flood modelling

Session chair: Richard Crowder

Moving towards consistent evaluation of modelling uncertainty

Ian Perkins

Senior Technical Advisor, Evidence & Risk

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Philip Crawford

Senior FRM Specialist

No matter how refined and enhanced our models are, there will always remain inherent uncertainties in the results; it is important we understand and quantify this. In England, Residual Uncertainty Analysis (RUA) has been introduced as a requirement for FCRM schemes. In this talk, Phil and Ian will introduce an ongoing project which aims to bring simple and consistent approaches to RUA for modellers through supplementary practitioner guidance. They will introduce new automated tools to aid this process and discuss some of the wider issues with managing and communicating modelling uncertainty.

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Why do we deploy integrated catchment models

Ally Potts

Principal Urban Drainage Modeller

How NaFRA2 will transform our industry 

Jonathan Boyes

NaFRA2 Technical Lead

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Neil Hunter

Head of Flood Modelling

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Joe Clarke

Associate Director of Hydroinformatics

NaFRA2 is the Environment Agency’s next generation national flood risk assessment. It aims to maximise the value of detailed local modelling, combining it with extensive national modelling to provide full coverage of rich data – all brought together in a live cloud computing system that will transform the way the Environment Agency works with flood risk information. NaFRA2 is a collaboration between the Environment Agency, Jacobs, JBA Consulting and experts from industry and academia. Joe, Jonathan and Neil will introduce NaFRA2 and how it works; describe the new national fluvial, coastal and surface water modelling and the methods and data that are being used to develop it; and explore what NaFRA2 means for flood risk management, and for flood modelling in particular.

Case Studies: How Flood Modeller delivered efficiencies and enabled innovation

Session chair: Richard Crowder

Garryduff Catchment Analysis and Flood Feasibility Study

Mistaya Langridge

Flood Management Team Lead

The town of Castlebar, located in Co. Mayo, Ireland, is known to have experienced flooding in the past, and is subject to significant development pressure both now and in the future. In particular, the area known as Garryduff has suffered considerable pluvial and fluvial flooding in recent years, preventing development of lands in the area for much needed housing. Development within existing flood plains has the potential to create an additional flood risk for dwellings in nearby housing estates and older residential dwellings. This study involved assessing the feasibility of a scheme for the area, including the identification and preliminary design of a flood alleviation scheme. Using Flood Modeller’s advanced features, the scheme and TOBIN look at bringing flood management in Ireland and Garryduff into the future, by fully understanding catchment processes and designing development and mitigation measures to these processes. 

The model prepared to assess the flood risk applied direct rainfall modelling, to produce flood extents associated within an urban area and poorly delineated drainage feature, including a stream connected by several culverts to a lochan and a local pumping station. Digital terrain data was processed and supplemented with local topographic survey data within Flood Modeller, to identify topographic depressions where water may pond and the flood pathways which connect them. Findings of the Climate Change Sectoral Adaption Plan for Flood Risk Management were applied to rainfall and flow data from the FSU Portal integrated within Flood Modeller, to predict inflows and rainfall depths in a future scenario. The rainfall and input flows were applied to a 2D domain and local culverts were integrated within using Flood Modeller’s capabilities to establish the extent of flooding in the area. Topography was modified to simulate proposed residential developments in the area and their impact on flooding. The model was utilised to propose mitigation measures and flood zoning in the area.

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Affinity Water, along with Severn Trent Water (STW) and Anglian Water are developing Strategic Resource Options (SRO) through the Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure development (RAPID) Gate 2 process.  Operation of the SROs has the potential to impact on flows in the River Tame and River Trent and therefore modelling was required to support assessment of the feasibility of the SROs by quantifying the potential hydrological and hydraulic changes to the River Tame and River Trent arising from SRO operation.

Aquator hydrological and water resources systems modelling was used to identify how the flow regime of the study river system might change because of operating the SROs.  1D hydraulic modelling was then undertaken, using Flood Modeller, to identify how such flow changes would manifest in changes to hydraulic parameters such as water level change, velocity, or wetted area of a river channel, all of which are important factors in assessing potential ecology or habitat linked responses to changes in flow regimes.


This presentation will explain how we used catchment scale Flood Modeller models of the Rivers Tame and Trent to undertake this assessment and what we were able to conclude from that work. We will highlight some of the challenges faced during the modelling and explain where further modelling was needed to better understand the ecological and habitat impacts.

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The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Phase 2

Chris Allman

Senior Associate - Flood Modeller

Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme is designed to reduce flooding to 1048 homes and 474 businesses from the River Aire in response to significant flooding in December 2015. The scheme consists of 8km of raised linear defences running along the riverbank upstream of Leeds Station through the Kirkstall corridor and a new, online, active flood storage area upstream of the city.  It is the largest flood scheme currently under construction in the country, at a cost of £112m, and construction of the scheme is due to be complete in 2023.


Flood modelling was fundamental to the design of the scheme, both for the walled section and the upstream storage area. The flexibility available within the logical rules in Flood Modeller allowed the complex operation of the control structure to be modelled with greater accuracy and confidence to add value to the project.


This talk will give an overview of the scheme and describe how flood modelling has enhanced the scheme and given confidence that it will function as expected.

Assessing potential ecology or habitat linked responses to changes in flow regimes

Dan Ferguson

Flood Risk Engineer

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Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme - rapid and robust economic assessment using Flood Modellers’ Damage Calculator

Stephen Bilby

Senior Flood Risk Analyst

Oxford has a long history of flooding. Significant floods in recent decades have caused damage to homes and businesses and closed the main railway line and major roads.  The Oxford flood alleviation scheme will cost around £176 million and is one of the biggest flood schemes in the country. It will reduce flood risk to homes, businesses, services and major transport routes into the city.

An investment of this magnitude requires sound economic evidence.  A large amount of guidance exists to calculate many types of economic damage caused by flooding.  This is often required for a large number of design flood events, climate change epochs, and different option scenarios.  In the case of Oxford, nine flood probabilities are required over four epochs, for ten options, making almost 300 model results that need analysis against the guidance, for a large number of properties.

Flood Modeller Damage Calculator provides a solution to this challenge, allowing users to calculate many of the major damage types outlined in the Multi-Coloured Manual and supplementary guidance.  The software runs quickly, so multiple scenarios and sensitivity tests can be rapidly assessed.  We have recently added several new functions, providing a range of time saving and convenience benefits, which this presentation will focus on.

Day 2 - Thursday 20th April
Welcome and Keynote
Welcome to Flood Modeller 2023

Richard Crowder

Director Digital Flood Products

Richard will be presenting some of the feedback gained from the research undertaken by Jacobs, on behalf of the Environment Agency, on the the challenges and needs of the flood modelling industry and will invite delegates to vote on priorities for the Flood Modeller product roadmap.

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Why does the Environment Agency’s Flood Hydrology Improvements Programme matter to Flood Modellers?

Helen Harfoot

Lead Hydrologist

Flood hydrology underpins the flood modelling chain to support flood risk management decisions. However, despite recent advances in technology and science, operational flood hydrology has become largely forgotten, with relatively little change in methods used by industry over the past couple of decades.

The 2022 UK Flood Hydrology Roadmap developed by and for the UK hydrology community recognises the need for improved hydrological information and understanding in a changing world and sets out a 25-year vision for flood hydrology in the UK. It considers all sources of inland flooding and proposes 31 actions grouped into the thematic work areas of data, methods, ways of working, and scientific understanding.

The Environment Agency’s 6-year Flood Hydrology Improvements Programme (FHIP) commenced in 2021 and is delivering a number of priority projects drawn from the Roadmap to improve our capability in flood hydrology modelling.

This presentation will outline key FHIP projects of importance to the flood risk modelling chain that will improve hydrometric data, hydrological modelling techniques, and ways of working.

10:30  Stream 1
Flood Hydrology

Session chair: Adam Parkes

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The new era of integrated Hydrological and Hydraulic Modelling with Flood Modeller 

Adam Parkes

Head of Discipline - Hydrology


Tracey Haxton

Technical Director

Consistent and dependable hydrology is essential for successful delivery of any flood risk project; ensuring that analysis makes use of best available data and tools to give confidence in outcomes. This presentation will introduce Hydrology +, a step change in how Flood Modeller users can undertake flood hydrology and incorporate it into their models; removing barriers to adopting new methods and bringing a new unified workflow to modelling.

Tracey will give an overview of current UK flood hydrology, how it has evolved and future developments for FEH Software.  Adam will provide a forward look on how Hydrology + will work, including integration with Open WISKI and Wallingford HydroSolutions software, demonstrating the benefits these features will bring and future enhancements. 

10:30  Stream 2
Flood Forecasting

Session chair: Neil Ryan

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An Overview of the Incident Management Forecasting System (IMFS) and  Forecast Model Management at the Environment Agency

Alan Smith

Senior Advisor - Flood Forecasting Improvements and  Development team

Forecast Modelling using Flood Modeller is a niche area of modelling within the Environment Agency and the broader flood risk modelling community. Many people are not aware of the specific requirements and standards that govern its use in the Environment Agency's Incident Management Forecasting Systems (IMFS). Running Flood Modeller models within IMFS requires a deep understanding of key principles and guidelines. Developers must be able to deliver models that meet strict criteria supported by clear reporting to be configurable into IMFS.


At every stage of the model development process, from inception through calibration and validation to delivery, there is guidance, review, specifications, and model management protocols in place to ensure that the models meet the highest standards of accuracy and reliability. The presentation aims to provide an overview of the specific requirements and guidelines that govern the use of Flood Modeller in IMFS, as well as insights into the unique challenges and considerations that arise when working with flood forecasting models for use in a real-time, operational setting. Whether you're a seasoned flood modelling expert or new to this field, this presentation will provide valuable insights into how Flood Modeller models are used and managed within the Environment Agency.

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Real-time river modelling for flood forecasting – what is best practice?

Paul Wass

Technical Director

Models for simulating floods in real time have very specific needs, different to those used ‘offline’ for design and risk purposes.  They emphasise accuracy, speed and stability across the full range of observed events.  Predictions are usually needed at river gauges where they are assessed against pre-set thresholds.  Often, models are part of a network with observations assimilated upstream, and in many cases, the river model component of the system is the least uncertain – compared to runoff prediction and rainfall forecasting.


Analysts used to developing physically detailed models that try to simulate ‘everything everywhere’ can find this a culture shock.  Best practice in real-time river modelling means developing tools that are appropriate for the task:  Accurate, stable and fast with an understanding of where uncertainty comes from.  This talk explores what ‘best practice’ looks like in the context of the Environment Agency’s Incident Management Forecasting System.

13:00  Stream 1
Data Sources

Session chair: Blanca Garcia

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Know your data sources

Blanca Garcia

Principal Hydraulic Modeller

Data is critical to building hydraulic models. Hydraulic models need accurate data that reflect real-world conditions. Accurate and reliable model input data provides flood modelling professional with increased confidence in hydraulic model outputs. However, accessing data to build, calibrate and verify models can often pose a challenge due to the multitude of different data portals and data owners available. This presentation will introduce common data sources and common data portals available to flood modelling professionals. The presentation will cover different data sources required during the different stages of a typical flood modelling project.

Flood hazard mapping for current and future climate scenarios

Gavin Lewis

Head of Engineering

The presentation will cover the recently published Fathom scientific paper on UK flooding and climate change and the latest advances in global flood hazard and climate change and global terrain datasets and how to the access to these datasets within Jacobs Flood Modeller  

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Re-Climate® extended daily precipitation forecasts

Dr Christopher Nankervis (FRMetS)

Product Owner

The Committee on Climate Change reports a 10% chance of catastrophic flooding in England over the next two decades. Reliable estimates of weather extremes are therefore essential for operations teams when there is capacity to adapt. Re-Climate® supplies reliable extended daily precipitation forecasts, revealing near-term changes in the frequency and intensity of events on a town-scale. These seasonal forecasts have proven to be consistent with observations from 2018 to 2021 through an independent review. The Re-Climate® product uniquely enables wider integration of seasonal weather information into software platforms or processes while communicating seasonal flood risk to decision makers, supporting maintenance work, and managing hydrologically dependent assets.

13:00  Stream 2
Data science and automation

Session chair: Joe Pierce

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Unlocking automation with the Flood Modeller API

Joe Pierce

Principal Developer

This session will include a comprehensive overview of the new Flood Modeller API, and demonstrate how it can help you streamline processes and drive innovation for your business. From improving workflows to unlocking new opportunities, this session will showcase the power and versatility of the Flood Modeller API.

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API case studies

Phil Crawford 

Senior Flood Risk Management Specialist


Daisy Lambert

Graduate Hydraulic Modeller/Data Scientist

In this session we will be taking a closer look at some of the potential use cases that the API unlocks. We will explore how we can use the API to automate analysis in our model’s hydrology, and how the API can help us develop model conversion tools.

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Automated Operational Controls

Adam Parkes

Head of Discipline - Hydrology

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Konrad Adams

Senior Developer

Konrad will introduce the new enhancements to the logical rules, describing the outline summary, new syntax, and potential use-cases, as well as discussing plans for the future, before Adam illustrates their effectiveness with a “before and after” real-world case, demonstrating their improved capabilities, efficiencies and intuitiveness. There will be an opportunity for users to ask questions and propose useful future additional enhancements.

15:00  Stream 1
How to solve common modelling problems and challenge our experts

Richard Crowder

Director Digital Flood Products

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Bob Potter

Development Manager

The whole team will be contributing to this session – management, developers, senior modellers, the support team, and subject matter experts. Chaired by Richard Crowder and Bob Potter, there will be a series of short how-to presentations on common modelling challenges, how-to guides, and few tips and tricks! Ask the team your questions, seek solutions to your problems, and make your requests for new features. Bring your models with you and we will see if we can help you while you’re here!

15:00  Stream 2
Hands on with the Flood Modeller API
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Joe Pierce

Principal Developer

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Phil Crawford

Flood Risk Management Specialist


Daisy Lambert

Graduate Hydraulic Modeller/Data Scientist

1-2-1 opportunity to discuss the API, try it out and explore how you can use it. Bring your own laptop and we will help you to use the API with your own data.

Notice to All Registrants, Speakers and Guests - By attending this Jacobs conference, you are advised and agree that you may be photographed and/or electronically recorded during this conference. Accordingly, you hereby consent to Jacobs use and distribution of your name and likeness for instructional or promotional purposes without compensation by or liability to Jacobs.

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