Improving the use of online media in flood early warning: collaboration Deltares and Floodtags

Published: 20 November 2019

During flood events, effective crisis response can be hampered by lack of situational awareness regarding the actual conditions on the ground. Have any areas been flooded, and which? What is the flood depth? What is the impact on the population? Traditional monitoring networks hardly measure these factors, flood forecasting models often misrepresent them and crowdsourcing this information from volunteers is difficult and laborious.

Improving the use of online media in the early warning and crisis response process can make a difference. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook contain a wealth of information about conditions on the ground during flood events, and platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram allow for easy two-way communication and crowdsourcing from volunteer networks.


Nadine Slootjes (department head operational operational watermanagement Deltares) and Jurjen Wagemaker (Managing Director Floodtags) signing the collaboration agreement on November 7, during the Delft-FEWS User Days at Deltares in Delft.

To tap into this, FloodTags offers services to analyse online media and user-generated content to produce flooding information. Deltares develops forecasting systems and models, and we have extensive domain knowledge about flood forecasting and flood risk management. Together, we have already been carrying our research and pilot projects in this field. And now we are going to intensify our collaboration further on the basis of a Collaboration Agreement signed during the Delft-FEWS User Days, on 7th November.

As a result, our clients will have easy access to FloodTags and be able to use media data for model validation, real-time monitoring and two-way communication via direct messaging. For example, FloodTags data are now available in Delft-FEWS in real time! Reach out to us if you want to explore the exciting new possibilities this offers.