Objective 1: Advance Knowledge on Flood Regimes (Past and Future) and Provide Guidelines for Infrastructure Design

An important research challenge is the complexity of the space-time dynamics of the extreme events (floods and storms) driven by the large diversity of geographic, meteorological, and hydro-climatic conditions. Targeted research projects described in Theme 1 will enhance our understanding of these complex processes, which is essential to the development of:

  1. formalized methodologies for frequency analysis of extreme events;
  2. enhanced flood analysis tools;
  3. risk and vulnerability indicators for populated regions; and
  4. national guidelines for flood and storm frequency analysis.

Objective 2: Advance Knowledge on Flood Forecasting Systems and Enhance Flood Forecasting in Canada

“Flood forecasting has evolved from purely hydraulic and hydrologic science into a cross-cutting multidisciplinary research field, ranging from meteorology, via statistics, hydrology and hydraulics all the way to communication science.” Arduino et al. (2005)

The research projects of Themes 2 and 3 will provide a collaborative environment to address the complex issue of producing and disseminating accurate and timely flood forecasts. The individual projects in these themes will:

  1. facilitate ensemble hydrological predictions and data assimilation;
  2. provide a framework for the quantification of predictive uncertainty;
  3. increase forecast lead time while maintaining accuracy; and
  4. readily connect leading edge information technology systems to increase system information and distribute flood warnings.

Objective 3:  Assess Impacts of Floods on People, Society, and Environment

Enhanced understanding of the direct and indirect flood impacts at local and regional scales is essential for flood risk management, planning future development, informed engineering design and for sound science-based policy decision making. Accomplishing this research objective will increase our understanding of processes (linkages and feedbacks) and the holistic effects of floods on urban and rural environments, including socio-economic aspects. Objective 3 will be accomplished by research activities in Theme 4 which include:

  1. quantitative analysis of flooding effects on agricultural lands and aquatic ecosystems’
  2. assessing the integrated effects of floods on surface water quality;
  3. extending flood vulnerability assessment to include socio-economic aspects; and
  4. development of evidence-based flood vulnerability indicators.