Why use FloodAdapt?

FloodAdapt can greatly support adaptation planning by allowing users to explore many scenarios. It can be used to evaluate flooding and impacts due to compound weather events, like hurricanes, king tides, and rainfall events.

Users can evaluate flooding, impacts, and risk considering user-specified projections of sea level rise, precipitation increase, storm frequency increase, population growth, and economic growth. Users can also test out adaptation options, like sea walls, levees, pumps, home elevations, buyouts and floodproofing.

Decision-making needs at the community level were central to the design of FloodAdapt. Users can answer planning questions like:

  • How will potential adaptation options reduce flood impacts?
  • How will those options perform for different types of events, like hurricanes, king tides, or heavy rainfall?
  • Which neighborhoods will benefit most?
  • How will those options hold up in the future?
Schematic overview of FloodAdapt

How does FloodAdapt work?

FloodAdapt was developed as a rapid planning tool with a straightforward graphical user interface for scenario generation, simulation, and visualisation of spatial flooding and flooding impacts.

Users specify what-if scenarios composed of historic or synthetic weather events, climate or socio-economic future projections, and adaptation measures. The backend of FloodAdapt leverages the open-source, state-of-the-art process-based compound flood model SFINCS that can accurately predict compound flooding due to surge, rainfall, and river discharge. At a fraction of the computation time typically required by physics-based models.

The damage model included in FloodAdapt is the Deltares-developed flood impact assessment tool Delft-FIAT. It calculates the flood damages to individual buildings and roads, and – when social vulnerability data is available – aggregates these damages over vulnerability classes.

Ongoing developments

Ongoing developments of the decision-support system include:

  1. simplifying and partially automating the setup of the SFINCS and Delft-FIAT models,
  2. improving the user experience,
  3. better supporting adaptation planning with improvements like metrics tables, infographics, better visualizations in the user interface, adding in additional adaptation options to evaluate, and calculating benefits of adaptation options, and
  4. incorporating social vulnerability and equity into the evaluation of adaptation options to support equitable adaptation planning.
FloodAdapt models flooding and impacts throughout a wide model domain, but allows users to zoom in to look at specific neighborhood details, shown here for a pilot in Charleston, South Carolina
Using FloodAdapt to evaluate the increase in risk after homes have been elevated, as sea level rises
Using FloodAdapt to evaluate the king tide flooding in a neighborhood under current conditions and with one foot of sea level rise

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