Real time forecasting for the San Antonio River Authority, Texas
HR Wallingford has developed a flood forecasting system for the Salado Creek catchment in San Antonio, Texas for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). The system uses real time data to provide flood alerts and warnings.
Investing in technology to help save lives
A number of key low water river crossings in the catchment are known to flood, and in the past, some motorists who failed to properly assess the level of risk have lost their life while attempting to cross the road at these points during flood events. We developed a flood forecasting system, to identify when rainfall could potentially cause flooding at these key river crossings, which acts as a decision support system to enable the emergency services to respond appropriately during flood events.
Developing an integrated solution
The FloodWorks system we developed links real time telemetry data from rain gauges, water level gauges and rainfall radar with hydrological and hydraulic models to provide alerts and warnings of flooding at specific locations.
HR Wallingford ensured the system was configured to enable the National Weather Service rainfall radar data to be read. The system downloads and stores these rainfall radar spatial data every two minutes direct from the National Weather Service FTP site.
We also advised SARA on the type and location of new instrumentation they planned to install in the Salado Creek catchment. The FloodWorks system has been configured to update forecasts based on the new telemetry data, and SARA staff will be able to improve calibration of the underlying numerical models following a period of data collection from the new gauges. Calibration of the hydraulic and hydrological models used in the FloodWorks system relied upon USGS flow data from two gauging stations on Salado Creek and a combination of rain gauge and rainfall radar.
We developed a flood forecasting system, to identify when rainfall could potentially cause flooding at key river crossings.