Effects of floods on critical infrastructure in South Florida analysed

Published: 30 January 2017

Last Friday Deltares experts gave a workshop to analyse cascade effects on critical infrastructure in South Florida, caused by natural hazards such as floods. The workshop was organised together with the Broward County and South Florida Water management District and was part of a NOAA climate change project. The goal of this project is to analyse and understand possible impacts of climate change on critical infrastructures.

New software tool CIrcle was used

With climate changing, sea levels rising and the constant threat for tropical cyclones, densely populated South Florida is becoming increasingly vulnerable to storm surge flooding. Together with important stakeholders (network owners) in the area, direct impacts and possible cascading effects were analysed, using the software tool CIrcle. With this interactive touch table application, relations and dependencies of critical infrastructures are being discussed, moderated by experts of Deltares, and simply visualised.

Andreas Burzel (Deltares) presenting the software tool CIrcle for stakeholders in South Florida

Three workshops in total

This first workshop (in a total of three workshops) is very important as the gathered knowledge and data of the experts and stakeholders forms a basis for total project. In the second workshop this basis will be visualised in our interactive modelling environment in which the stakeholders can understand how vulnerable objects and networks can influence other networks and they can test the effect of certain measures. In the end the project will use the knowledge, expertise and data for creating better understanding of the resilience in the area.

Micheline Hounjet (expert on critical infrastructures, Deltares): “The biggest challenge during these kind of workshops is to persuade stakeholders to be open and share information (data, models) with each other. Only by working together and to see the bigger picture (beyond your own company or region) more effective measures can be taken”.