Flood Forecast Web Service, Natural Resources Wales

Work > Flood Forecast Web Service, Natural Resources Wales
Method4 was given the opportunity to develop a bespoke replacement to a static and aging forecast web service, which provides Natural Resources Wales (NRW) with up-to-date forecast data and flooding alerts to duty officers across Wales 24 hours a day. A finalist in the Wales Technology Awards 2017 under the Best Tech Adopter category, we’re really proud of this system!

We built the system from the ground up using a collection of .NET and front-end libraries and frameworks, which were tailored specifically to the project and NRW’s requirements. The system receives and collates large amounts of raw data collected from over 200 locations across the diverse Welsh landscape which is collected and analysed through the world’s first cloud-hosted Deltares Delft-FEWS platform. Once the data is processed and checked for accuracy, it is imported into the Forecast Web Service, presenting duty officers with a complete overview of the forecast situation, highlighting issues and allowing them to focus on the decisions needed to ensure the safety and comfort of the Welsh public. Combined with a regular import of documents from third party agencies including the Met Office, the system is able to provide a complete picture of the flood risk across the country through a single interface.

Challenges

  • highly critical system, requiring constant availability
  • large volumes of data requiring immediate processing
  • ability to present a wide range of data using the most appropriate and intuitive methods available

Solution

  • powered by data processed through the world’s first cloud-hosted Deltares Delft-FEWS platform, trusted by leading agencies worldwide
  • hosting within a resilient cloud-based, Microsoft Azure environment
  • deep integration with the ArcGIS mapping platform
  • utilises a combination of server-side processing and complex modular Javascript

Benefits

  • processes and cross-checks data, transforming into interactive graphs, charts and tables
  • flexible layout engine, accommodating a vast array of data types
  • rolling archive of each and every forecast, allowing search and analysis of historical data patterns
  • lays the foundation for external data sharing in the future
"We play a key role in keeping communities in Wales safe from flooding. The flexibility and real-time performance which the Forecast Web Service offers is important to us in delivering a flood forecasting and warning service for Wales." - Andrew How, Flood Forecasting Team Leader
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