Connecting Waterpeople
Premium content

Advancing flood forecasting and management: Insights from Türkiye's national initiative

Today, Tuesday, April 30th, Autodesk Water and Smart Water Magazine joined forces to present a new online event as part of a webinar series aimed at empowering water professionals worldwide. The series focuses on crucial topics and case studies, offering innovative techniques and best practices to enhance water management strategies, from addressing floods to network leakage and digital twin applications.

In today’s live seminar, titled: “Forecasting floods, protecting lives!”, Autodesk Water explored the threat of flooding, worsened by the impacts of climate change. Showcasing Türkiye's innovative National Flood Forecasting & Early Warning System (TATUS), the session provided insights into the country’s approach to flood prediction and early warning, offering valuable strategies for enhancing resilience to flood events.

If you missed the webinar, you may now watch it ​on-demand.

Autodesk Water’s online modeling tools were introduced: InfoWorks ICM and InfoWorks ICM Live automatic online modeling tool

Moderated by Cristina Novo, Technical Editor at Smart Water Magazine, the seminar underscored the pivotal role of digital solutions in revolutionizing water management practices. Autodesk Water, in this respect, is leading the way in this transformation, offering its expertise in design, construction, and advanced hydrological modeling.

During the webinar, Autodesk Water’s online modeling tools were introduced: InfoWorks ICM, known for its integrated hydrology and hydrodynamic modeling capabilities, along with the InfoWorks ICM Live automatic online modeling tool.

Cristina Novo presented the three speakers, giving the stand to Özgüray Aydin, Hydrogeological Engineer and Water Solutions Manager at Universal Software, who inaugurated his presentation by explaining how climate change is having repercussions on rainfall, with extreme rain becoming more common. Thanks to tools such as flood forecasting systems, authorities, communities and organizations have the necessary information to make decisions when flooding occurs, which can significantly reduce the loss of property and life.

“Almost everywhere around the world, and particularly in recent times, we are facing numerous disasters in which prevention seems almost impossible. This is where flood forecasting systems and early warning systems become extremely important,” he stressed. He then explained that for their flood forecasting system, a three-step calculation methodology is used. “We adapt rainfall forecasting to our model, in which we integrate current and future rainfall in the most optimal way, secondly we use hydrological models to calculate the discharge resulting from the rainfall, and thirdly, we use hydrological models to understand the impact of the calculated discharge on the region.”

For this, Autodesk Water’s online modeling tool is essential. “To prepare and calibrate the hydrological models, InfoWorks ICM offers so many alternatives and opportunities.” He highlighted that InfoWorks ICM works continuously and automatically, without a single error.

Moreover, Özgüray Aydin stressed the significance of designing a disaster management solution in accordance with the culture, the social structure and the governmental organization of the region. Every country or region needs to design a solution depending on the available resources, data, and governmental organization, he said.

Before giving the floor to Salih Babagiray, Civil Engineer and Flood Forecasting Expert at Türkiye Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Aydin introduced Türkiye’s National Flood Forecast and Early Warning System (TATUS).

Türkiye’s National Flood Forecast and Early Warning System (TATUS)

Türkiye, renowned for its diverse topography and stunning coastal landscapes, faces a pressing challenge: increasingly severe weather patterns leading to devastating floods declared Aydin. To counteract this threat, the country has launched a pioneering initiative to predict and alert authorities before disaster strikes.

In response, the General Directorate of Water Management, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has embarked on establishing the National Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System (TATUS), prioritizing proactive risk management over reactive crisis response.

The TATUS initiative, spearheaded by Universal Software, focuses on 15 pilot sub-basins across regions such as the Eastern and Western Black Sea, Antalya, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Through a comprehensive approach combining hydraulic and hydrological engineering analyses with dynamic meteorological predictions, the system aims to forecast rainfall and runoff up to 72 hours in advance, facilitating timely warnings and preparedness measures.

Salih Babagiray began his presentation by revealing that Turkey suffers from approximately 125 floods each year. In one specific flooding event which pounded the provinces of Bartin and Kastamonu, 72 people died.

Flood forecasting is a crucial strategy to minimize the damage of flooding and the communities’ vulnerabilities, but for an accurate forecasting system, data is the most important factor. Babagiray explained that all types of data are needed, including meteorological data, hydrological data, and also flood maps. This data is then collected and analysed, allowing for decision-making.

“More than one hundred hydrological models have been prepared and calibrated using InfoWorks ICM for hydrology modeling and hydrodynamic modeling,” said Salih Babagiray.

Central to the success of TATUS is its multidisciplinary approach, drawing upon expertise from hydrology, meteorology, and engineering realms. The integration of GIS and telemetry systems alongside advanced computational capabilities enhances prediction accuracy, fostering collaboration and data visualization. During his presentation, Babagiray also highlighted the various warning options that these tools provide and also emphasized the importance of reporting, which is sent to AFAD, Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. Finally, he said that their main target now is to expand the system throughout the country.

Next, Cihat Adsiz, Civil Engineer at Türkiye Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, elaborated on the user interface of TATUS, highlighting its functionality and flexibility in managing data and issuing alerts. Adsiz emphasized the utility of ICM Live's 3D viewer in visualizing critical points and enhancing situational awareness.

The event concluded with a dynamic Q&A session, wherein attendees engaged with the speakers on various aspects of TATUS and Autodesk Water’s online modeling tools. Discussions ranged from data integration and calibration processes to the potential integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for meteorological forecasts in the future.

Overall, the webinar provided a comprehensive overview of Türkiye's innovative approach to flood forecasting and management, showcasing the transformative potential of digital solutions in enhancing water resilience worldwide.