Four cities gain rain

RAINGAIN is a transnational project aimed at improving the prediction of pluvial floods in our cities. The frequency and the damages of pluvial floods in urban areas are expected to increase as a consequence of climate change and urban development. New solutions are needed to cope with intense storms and to reduce the risks for populations and infrastructures. RainGain develops and tests innovative tools and practices based on the use of high resolution radars in four pilot cities: Leuven, London, Paris, Rotterdam. The project is funded by the European programme Interreg IVB NWE.

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Leuven

In the city of Leuven, rainfall is measured since 2008 with a X-band radar by the water treatment company Aquafin and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In the RainGain project, rainfall data from different sources will be combined and integrated with Numerical Weather Prediction of RMI to obtain for fine-scale rainfall nowcasts. This short-term forecasts can be used to simulate 2D sewer inundations, to support sewer flood forecasting, warning and RTC. Improved fine-scale rainfall estimates also will increase the accuracy of the urban drainage simulation models that are important decision support tools.

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Greater London

One of the test areas that have been selected is the Cranbrook catchment, located within the London Borough of Redbridge in the Northeast part of Greater London. The catchment is predominantly urban with two off line lakes, a couple of parks, playing fields and a golf course. This area was selected because it has a history of both fluvial and pluvial flooding, with flood events reported since 1926 and recent events in October 2000, February 2009 and January 2012.

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Rotterdam

The construction of a rain radar has started on the roof of one of the highest bulding in Rotterdam city centre. The radar will make it possible to measure precipitation patterns in the city much more accurately and, as such, facilitate improvements in the quality and efficiency of the city’s water management. Possible applications for the data include the intelligent control of pumping stations, the use of water storage (such as the water squares) and local weather reports.

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Paris Region

The Paris X-band radar will be installed in the East side of the Paris region, named "Île-de-France". With about 12 millions inhabitants and a huge economical and political weight, this region is one of the major metropolises in the world. Ensuring a sustainable development of this region, i.e. switching from high vulnerability to resilience, is a shared goal of its inhabitants and its political institutions. With two main drivers  climate change and ongoing urbanisation  stormwater management is a key challenge. 

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FOCUS

Two of the latest generation, X-band, radars have recently been purchased in Paris and Rotterdam. Other types of weather X-band radars are being tested in London and Leuven. The radars will give a very accurate picture of precipitation patterns and in particular precipitation peaks in these cities; greatly helping to better manage urban floods and reduce water damages. Read here the International press release, the French press release (FR) (EN) and the Dutch press release (NL) (EN).

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NEWS
  • Three international meetings on the RainGain project
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  • The RainGain team at ICUD 2014, Malaysia
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  • French Observers Group: outcomes of the annual meeting
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  • Three days in the Paris Region: from science to « edutainment »
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