Forecasting and warning system for Sava River almost complete

Published: 3 April 2018

Deltares is working with Royal HaskoningDHV, Eptisa, the Hydro-Engineering Institute Sarajevo and Mihailo Anđelić on a forecasting and early warning system (FFWS) for five riparian countries of the Sava River basin. Version 1.0 of the system has just reached completion.

picture credit: International Sava River Basin Commission

Version 1.0

Since 2016, a team of international and local experts has been working hard on the development of a forecasting system for the five states. The local authorities are also closely involved. After three earlier preleases, the system is now fully operational and it can be used in practice. It will be tested in operational conditions until the summer. After the summer, the final improvements will be made and the definitive version (2.0) will be delivered.

Special project

This FFWS is a very special project because of the number of countries surrounding the basin of the Sava (97,700 km2): Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. There is also a very small section of the basin in Albania. Each country has its own models, monitoring systems, forecasting systems, water authorities and interests.

This new uniform system is intended to bridge these differences and enable cooperation in water management. The consortium had three tasks: setting up an effective organisational structure, ensuring that the right information gets to the right place at the right time and organising training for the stakeholders.

Activities in the next few months

Over the coming months, the focus will be on improving features based on operational experience, such as displays, data access and exchange, procedures and performance indicators (forecasting accuracy). Users will also ensure to share their experiences as much as possible. Deltares and RoyalHaskoningDHV will be organizing training for local authorities in the coming months, both via webinars online and on location.

“This project brings together all the current state-of-the art knowledge about hydrological forecasting itself, as well as the expertise required to use a system like this effectively if conditions get challenging”, says Klaas-Jan van Heeringen (the Deltares project leader).

Hanneke Schuurmans (Royal HaskoningDHV) adds: “This transboundary early warning system will allow the different stakeholders to make informed decisions which can then be implemented to prevent and mitigate severe flood and drought situations.”