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Early flood warning system complete for river Velika Morava basin

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Research institute Deltares, Netherlands announced the completion of a real-time flood early warning system for the Velika Morava river basin in Serbia, according to the Dutch government’s Water Programme.  

The early warning system has been developed on request by the Republic Hydro-Meteorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS).

Incomplete levee protection
The Velika Morava is Serbia’s largest river. There is a high risk of flooding in the surrounding areas, particularly the low-lying sections, near the river.

Levee protection along the river is not complete and, in some locations, melting ice and snow lead to high water levels. There have been several floods in recent years resulting in major damage and casualties.

Existing modelling software
Deltares built the new Velika Morava Flood Forecasting and Warning System (VM-FFWS) on the basis of the Delft-FEWS software. Delft-FEWS consists of an advanced set of configurable modules that are used to build a forecasting system for operational water management tailored to the specific requirements of an individual organisation.

Local weather forecasts
VM-FFWS draws on existing sources of data such as precipitation, temperature and water levels imported from telemetry systems, as well as precipitation radar and weather forecasts (individual and grouped) from various Serbian and European meteorological institutes.

All data are automatically entered, validated and processed to produce input for two hydrological models.

The simulated river discharges from these models are then worked up with error-correction modules and visualised in clear and interactive screens for the RHMSS hydrologists.

Users community
Klaas Jan van Heeringen, Deltares project manager: ‘This system allows the modellers and operational water managers of the RHMSS to generate their river forecasts professionally and efficiently.’

Van Heeringen especially mentions the benefits for Serbian hydrologists to join the FEWS users community. ‘It also provides them with numerous options for integrating hydrological knowledge methods and software developments from the international Delft-FEWS users’ community and applying them in their own working procedures.’

‘As far as we are concerned, they have all they need for several years into the future and we will be happy to help them if needed’, says Van Heeringen.

Deltares teamed up with local partners Mihailo Anđelić and Centar Građevinskog fakulteta (the Geo-engineering Centre of Zagreb University) on this project. The system was also assessed and approved by the World Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management in Serbia.

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