HazRunoff aims to increase preparedness and response capacity on floods and pollutant hazards in rivers and transitional waters, through the development of a versatile situational awareness and emergency response framework capable of supporting civil protection units and water pollution authorities with more efficient early warning, early detection, fast follow-up and advanced communication strategies.
Having in mind the limitations and challenges in terms of operational capacity to respond to hazmat pollution in riverine and estuarine waters, as well as the increasing number of extreme events related to climate change, the holistic approach combines and adapts technologies to properly fit these demands:
• seamless integration of UAV’s for faster and safer data monitoring (avoiding human exposure)
• high resolution remote sensing technologies for efficient detection of oil and chemical spills
• Better methods for predicting river discharges and anticipate potential floods
• holistic modelling approaches to forecasting multiple types of floods and hazmat contamination
• instant data interpretation on social media, to increase situational awareness
These technologies will be used for the generation of powerful situational awareness tools and the adaptation of response protocols, including communication.
The modelling capacity will also be used for hazard mapping and risk assessment and, integrated with the operational tools, will facilitate better contingency planning and proactive decision making.
A direct impact will be increased response capacity on the 4 project pilot areas, through direct involvement, testing and training of the preparedness & response agencies, sharing a common approach. However, HazRunoff is specifically designed for transferability and will be applicable to any region.
The operational framework will also deliver better information on water runoff and pollution reaching the marine environment, currently seen by maritime authorities as an important gap.