Information needs

Information Needs for Water Resource and Risk Management

View from the River Elbe at Dresden (Germany), with a sculpture of The Great Wave off Kanagawa in the foreground.

The research project was carried on within the Centre for Natural Disaster Sciences (CNDS) in Sweden. The research project arised from the need to improve water management in order to mitigate the costs and losses derived from the interaction of society with the natural variability of the hydrological system.

Data availability is a crucial component in any water management system. While many parts of the world continue to strive with chronical data scarcity, high-resolution sensor networks are becoming increasingly available in some regions. For this reason it is important to correctly assess and rationalise the real data needs for ensuring an adequate implementation of water management practices. Recent developments have shown that additional data sources can be used to complement traditional “hard data” (e.g. precipitation, streamflow) to improve how management and response actions are performed. On one side social media data such as Twitter or YouTube can provide valuable near-real-time information about disaster events. This potential has already started to be used for many studies and applications around the world. Finally, data on how people behave in disaster circumstances as well as their perception of the risks is extremely important to be able to exploit the full potential of the technical capabilities and advances in hydrological modelling and forecasting.

Along my PhD I focused on different aspects of hydrological and socio-hydrological data and I explored how these data affect the performance of hydrological models and early warning systems.