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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R007411/1
Title: Urban resilience to intense rainfall and surface water flooding in a changing climate
Principal Investigator: Guan, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
JBA Trust Leicester City Council Leicester Local Resilience Forum
Sichuan University
Department: Geography
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 July 2018 Ends: 30 June 2021 Value (£): 269,627
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Coastal & Waterway Engineering Urban & Land Management
Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Apr 2017 Environmental Change Challenge Fellowships - Full Proposals Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The impacts of surface water flooding (SWF) are of concern both within the UK and internationally. For example, the 2007 UK floods were estimated to have cost the UK economy over £3.2 billion and resulted in 13 deaths, therein, two thirds of the damage in urban areas was caused by SWF. SWF caused severe disruption to water and energy networks, transport links, and other services including Local Authority education so generating considerable attention and comment by the media and public. The risks associated with urban flooding will increase in coming decades due to urbanisation, economic growth and climate change. The United Nations recently reported that urbanisation continues apace and the population living in urban areas is projected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2011, to 6.3 billion in 2050. The land surface and hydrological changes due to urbanisation increase the exposure of people to flood hazards. In addition, climate change is likely to increase flood risks by affecting the magnitude, frequency and timing of precipitation. UK regional climate models (UKCP09) predict increased winter rainfall and more intense, highly localised summer rainfall, the type of rainfall most commonly associated with SWF in urban areas. Much of the increase in urbanisation is occurring in emerging economies where significant economic growth is not matched by increases in flood resilience. The flows of goods, people and energy essential to continued economic development are at increasing risk of flood disruption. Despite its significance, urban surface water flooding is a type of flooding for which models, forecasts, warnings or management strategies are less advanced. The imminent and growing risk presented by urban surface water flooding requires improvements in scientific understanding, prediction and management.

This project therefore seeks to improve understanding and prediction of surface water flood impacts in urban areas based on field observation, improved modelling andimpact assessments. The project will develop cost-effective techniques to gather high-quality and real-time field data during and after SWF. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) in combination with flood crowd-sourcing will be exploited. The dataset will be used to inform process-based understanding of SWF and to verify model development. The project will also develop new modelling frameworks and parameterisations for SWF which will lead to a robust numerical model with high accuracy and computational efficiency. The high-quality dataset at laborotary-scale and field-scale will be used to verify the new modelling tool. Model capability will be improved by providing better predictions and more dynamic information of the spatial and temporal variability of surface water flooding. Based on real-time observation and improved modelling of current and future scenarios, the project will develop a hazard impact model for use in decision-making, focusing on vulnerable populations (e.g. care homes and schools) and transport and energy infrastructures (e.g. sub-stations and roads). The project is to develop generically valuable approaches which can be widespread used across the UK and elsewhere for managing urban surface water flooding. To demonstrate the capability of the approaches, the project will use the city of Leicester as a demonstration site where the observation, modelling application, and impact evaluation will be undertaken. Based on the outcomes, a focus-group workshop will be conducted to disseminate the results and identify "adaption and resilience" pathways for SWF.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk