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River Spey, Scotland

Jacobs are working extensively with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland (United Kingdom), to help develop and improve SEPA’s flood warning systems.

Jacobs were the first consultant to develop and integrate models into Scotland’s Flood Early Warning System (Delft FEWS). Over the last five years, Jacobs have added a further twelve numerical catchment models to the system.

These models have been developed using our hydrodynamic modelling software Flood Modeller Pro and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s hydrological software Kinematic Wave model (KW) and Probability-Distributed Model (PDM). The thirteen Scottish numerical catchment models include a total of over 100 flood warning locations affected by tidal and/or fluvial flood risk.

Catchment model schematization

A catchment model schematization of the River Spey in Scotland. Seven PDM models and four Flood Modeller models were developed to replicate the complex hydraulics – including catchment transfer for hydropower, on-line lochs that significantly attenuate flood flows and a complex fluvial/tidal interaction at the coast.

The catchment models are at the forefront of innovation and utilize Flood Modeller Pro to tailor bespoke solutions. The flexibility of Flood Modeller Pro allows for detailed modelling of reservoirs, flood control structures, abstractions/transfers and complex river hydraulics.

As part of the model development, a series of tasks to support and improve SEPA’s flood forecasting technology was undertaken, including the review of river flow gauging station ratings to aid the calibration process of the various rainfall runoff and river models.

Additionally, Jacobs analysed the performance of a number of SEPA flood forecasting models (River Spey and Cromrie) using FORPAST.

FORPAST, which links directly to the HYRAD (Radar rainfall) database, can process very high volumes of data quickly and accurately. This allows for detailed statistical analysis, assessing model performance for a large range of differing scenarios.

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