International Workshop on Global Flood Monitoring and Forecasting

2nd International Workshop on Global Flood Monitoring and Modelling

From 19 to 21 March 2012, the Second International Workshop on Global Flood Monitoring and Modelling took place in Delft, the Netherlands, hosted by Deltares to discuss the state of the art in this new and multi-disciplinary field.

The principle objective of the workshop was to bring all scientists working on global flood monitoring as well as the user community together and gain a common understanding of the state of the art. A second objective was to continue discussions to integrate various existing prototype, pre-operational or operational systems to provide systems-of-systems with added value. A third objective was to involve humanitarian and emergency response authorities as well as risk mitigation organisation in the the discussion.


The workshop was organized in sessions roughly organized on a time scale: from flood forecasting, over nowcasting and monitoring, to high resolution mapping and impact assessment. All participants presented the current state and development plans of their pre-operational systems, as well as results on flood events in 2011. In addition, discussions were moderated on cross-cutting themes (like data formats and map standards), aimed at defining the system requirements and activities needed to integrate and combine systems.

As an outcome, the participants decided to continue cooperation and collaboration as the “Global Flood Working Group”. Concretely, in 2012 this will consist of

  1. creating a visually integrated analytical product including all system products,
  2. developing and testing a solution to preserve and share the historical flood data record,
  3. conducting 2 or more validation exercises in 2012 and
  4. jointly publishing journal articles and organizing conference sessions.

Results will be reported in the 3rd workshop, in Boulder, Colorado, US, in March 2013.

This working group is currently the only international forum where global flood monitoring is dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner. Most participating organisations are running semi-operational systems on minimal research budgets, using free data sources. Yet, floods are by far the most damaging natural hazard worldwide, both in terms of affected population and, more and more, insured losses. It is one ambition of the working group to work towards more sustainable and funded solutions, and doing this by demonstrating the potential of an integrated approach to provide the right information at the right time to humanitarian and civil protection organisations.


Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts
University of Washington
Maryland University
Kansas University
Swiss Re
University of Colorado
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Centre
World Food Programme
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (Monitoring and Information Centre)

Workshop Outcomes
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As an outcome, the participants decided to continue cooperation and collaboration as the “Global Flood Working Group”.
Workshop Outcomes (presentation)
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Workshop Introduction
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Overview of one year of collaboration