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Availability of Cost Effective Flood Mapping

Authors: Rudy Van Drie1, Dr. Petar Milevski2 , Michael Simon3


1. 4244 Taylors Arm Rd Burrapine 2447 NSW Australia rudy@balancernd.com.au, 2. Wollongong City Council, Wollongong 2500 NSW Australia pmilevski@wollongong.nsw.gov.au 3. Michael Simon, hydro-sim, Consulting Engineers, Koloniestrasse 17, 45276 Essen, Germany simon.m@hydro-sim.de ABSTRACT In September 2011 the Queensland Flood Inquiry reportedly learned of the inadequacy of flood mapping in Queensland in regard to accuracy, coverage and validity. This highlights the need to identify a more efficient, accurate and most importantly cost effective approach to providing flood mapping to the community. This poster outlines an alternative approach. Local Government holds vast amounts of terrain data that can be used to create flood models of catchments and streams. Local Government also has quite formidable computing power in its servers. The only thing missing (until now) is the availability of suitable software and possibly the skill set within Local Government to set up run and maintain models. This paper puts forward a workable concept that has been tested and validated and will allow Local Government to Own-Run-Maintain its own flood models. The methodology focuses on the current lack, but need for, flood models to be dynamic in their ability to remain current and reflect catchment changes due to ongoing development and other land use impacts. KEYWORDS Two-dimensional, hydrodynamic, hydrology, hydraulics, unstructured, triangular, grid, model, roughness, hazard, impacts

1. INTRODUCTION: The flood events in 2011 provided the proof that critical primary concepts relating to flooding, flood hazard, mitigation and flood mapping are in urgent need of a re-think. The 1974 Brisbane flood was meant to never be able to occur due to the mitigation works undertaken including the construction of several large dams. Yet in January 2011 South East Queensland was subjected to flooding far worse than it was supposed to. Similarly a short time later Victoria was subjected to a similar fate. Possibly of even greater concern is the fact that it appears current flood mapping and flood mapping practices are not providing the community with the information it needs to be well enough informed to remain safe. However the authors have investigated and are successfully applying a different approach. Further, and more importantly the time frame required to provide these improved results is far shorter than the current adopted methods. This paper highlights the approach of Wollongong City Council conducting its own high resolution flood modelling using the ANUGA model. The ANUGA model produces equivalent and better results than existing methods by applying rainfall directly to the entire catchment and correctly identifying all significant flow paths accurately. As Local Government generally has terrain data, and has considerable computing power. Adding ANUGA to these provides for a formidable tool to ensure flood mapping is always up to date, relevant and accurate. 2. CONDEMNATION OF CURRENT FLOOD MAPPING: In an interview on May 19 2011 The Australian Property Institute issued an alert to members and banking representatives, saying valuers could no longer trust existing data. Recent floods in the eastern and central states have revealed a massive problem; the existing mapping can be inaccurate, incompatible or nonexistent. (Source: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3221613.htm ). However of even greater concern is that this position was well known as early as 2002. The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) produced report 106, titled Benefits of flood mitigation in Australia, in which it identified adverse issues related to flood mapping, focusing on the variability of public access to flood maps, and the concerns of the impact of map availability on property prices, and the fact that without a standardised approach maps were subject to misinterpretation. Finally the recent Queensland Flood Inquiry learned that flood mapping in many of the flood impacted areas of the 2011 floods, was inadequate with regard to accuracy, coverage and validity. 3. EXTREME FLOOD BEHAVIOUR and MODELLING: Most would recall seeing the images of the car riding the hydraulic jump in Toowoomba (Fig. 1). ANUGA is capable of describing this behaviour. Current dam break validation is underway to clarify the extent to which such extreme flooding can be reproduced by the model.

6. BETTER APPROACH TO FLOOD MAPPING: The majority of Councils have in their possession vast amounts of terrain data (and even those who do not can obtain a free 30m DEM data set). Most Councils have considerable computer resources. The availability of Free and Open Source software such as ANUGA provides an opportunity for all Councils to start developing accurate, dynamic, up to date flood models. Even a Council with minimal data could set up an initial model, which can be updated as better data becomes available. Furthermore, other Councils with hi-resolution LIDAR data, may need to alter their models to reflect changes to the topography such as a road embankment (refer Fig.4) or a new sub division. Cyclical improvements to the model ensures it remains dynamically relevant. Fig. 4 Terrain change- Adding roadway embankment

6.1 LINKING LAND USE MODELLING AND FLOOD MODELLING: The previous statement highlights the close synergy of land use planning and flood mapping, clearly two important roles that Councils are responsible for. Therefore it makes sense for Local Government to own and operate its own flood models. 7. WORKING EXAMPLE:- CASE STUDY- Wollongong City Council: Wollongong City Council has been using ANUGA for nearly four years now. Training for initial model setup took one day. Now Council has the ability to accurately: Identity unknown flood affected areas (overland flow paths) as general flood modelling only concentrates on mainstream flows Checks flood studies from consultants and developers Model various flood mitigation options prior to engagement of a consultant for detailed design Most importantly the use of ANUGA has saved Council a significant amount of time and money by allowing Council to do all of the above. Fig. 5 Mullet Creek

Fig. 1 Real world complex flow (courtesy of You Tube)

4. CURRENT APPROACH TO FLOOD MAPPING ( FLOOD MODELLING): Currently if a Council requires a flood study, the Council generally engages a consultant to prepare the flood study and flood mapping. The consultant sets up and runs models and produce a report with flood maps. However they retain ownership of the model itself. The flood models are handed over to Council (along with all the results), but Councils generally do not have the budget to buy commercial models. In addition the most widely accepted approach utilises a two step process requiring a hydrologic model followed by a 2D hydraulic model. Usually the hydraulic model is a small segment of the entire catchment. This methodology introduces a number of issues relating to calibrating-validating and data suitability. Regardless of the quality of data there is a lot of pressure to tweak models to ensure a good calibration fit. In the past when flood studies included a compendium of data an independent review could often identify these tweaks. However with current approaches the tweaks are less obvious. It is often difficult to determine if the hydrologic model or the hydraulic model parameters remain in a valid range as often these are not reported. 5. BETTER APPROACH TO FLOOD MODELLING: 5.1 ARE TWO MODELS BETTER THAN ONE? It is clear that if it were possible to develop a SINGLE model that could take rainfall directly and produce the 2D hydraulics, there would be several benefits. There is little chance of multiple opposing overcompensating parameters to be used in each of the two models The model should be easier to calibrate as there are fewer model parameters The hydraulic model would encompass the entire catchment and ensure all overflow paths and possible diversions are identified 5.2 INTRODUCING ANUGA In December 2006 the Australian National University and Geoscience Australia released to the public a free 2D Unstructured Grid, Finite Volume, Hydrodynamic Model. ANUGA provides a robust modelling solution to all forms of general fluid flow based on the Shallow Water Wave Equation, and has been used to model tsunamis, floods and storm surge. Therefore it is capable of modelling, not only ocean inundation but also riverine flooding and the combination of both these. 5.2.1 Catchment Hydrology: ANUGA is a robust and stable model for solving complex 2D flow problems and is able to capture details of hydraulic jumps and reflective waves as shown in Fig. 2. It also has functions built in that will allow spatially varying rainfall to be applied to a computational domain. Through this mechanism it has the ability to be used as a combined hydrology and hydraulic analysis tool. Council now have the ability to internally model complex catchments to determine if further detailed investigation are required.

8. OTHER APPLICATIONS: Interest is growing in the use of the ANUGA model. Currently Shoalhaven City Council has made use of it, and it is being applied at the University of Essen in Germany and University of Salzburg in Austria. There has been a recent flurry of interest from the Insurance sector wanting to consider grappling with flood risk. Researchers at the University of Colorado are actively involved in the open source nature of the model, and are currently adding erosion routines to it. The fact that it is free has made it very accessible to university students around the world, who are using it for a host of application from very small scale, to extremely large. 9. ONGOING DEVELOPMENT OF ANUGA: Initially modelling an entire catchment with ANUGA took days (or weeks), its implementation now in PARALLEL allows much faster execution. Running on an 8 core CPU, or on a cluster provides an impressive speedup. The lead authors are currently investigating utilising Graphics Card processing (GPUs) which is likely to provide in excess of a 100 fold increase in speed. Other developments include; a full 1D pressure/shallow water wave solver for analysis of piped systems (GA), a totally new approach to erosion modelling (Colorado University), and linking a hydrologic model directly to the 2D solver to allow integrated modelling of massive catchments such as the Murray-Darling. 10. CONCLUSIONS: The acquisition of flood mapping has a reputation for lengthy delays or timeframes for completion and very sizable price tags. However a methodology whereby authorities such as Local Government can setup, run and maintain their own flood models is becoming a plausible alternate with the availability of free models such as ANUGA. Current approaches are slow and costly but are still required by State and Federal Government policies. But Councils now have the ability to quickly and cost effectively prepare their own preliminary investigations and to identify flood affected areas. Local Government has a responsibility to its community, not only for land use planning, but also hazard identification. This synergy puts it in the box seat to develop its own 3D terrain models, which in turn form the basis of accurate, dynamically relevant flood models. This will ensure that communities remain informed as the land form and land use changes as the climate changes. Furthermore, holding the terrain data, having access to impressive computer power and now access to freely available 2D-flood models such as ANUGA, allows for this to occur. It is concluded that the 2-D Hydrodynamic model ANUGA is capable of providing cost effective flood mapping and hazard identification. 11. RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that government authorities such as Councils consider the responsibility they have to their communities in providing relevant, accurate and up to data flood hazard identification through flood mapping. In looking for ways to provide this data in the most cost effective way, it is recommended that these authorities seriously consider the methodology set out in this paper.

Fig. 2 Modelling complex flow with ANUGA 5.2.2 ANUGA vs WBNM: A 12.5ha catchment has been modelled with ANUGA and a well known lumped hydrologic model WBNM which has been validated on numerous catchments (Boyd 1999,2007) 5.3 COMPARISON OF HYDROGRAPH SHAPE: A comparison of results for a range of events from 1 year to PMF show that ANUGA is capable of reproducing not only the peak but also the hydrograph shape. In fact it is likely that ANUGAs response is more realistic particularly on the rising limb at the start of the event (Fig.3). This is in stark contrast with findings of other researchers using popular commercial fixed grid models (Clark et al 2008).

Fig. 6 Coffs Creek HAZARD Identification Mapping

Fig. 3 Comparing hydrographs