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Public FLOOD Emergency and Awareness SERVice

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FLOOD-serv (Public FLOOD Emergency and Awareness SERVice)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-07-31

The problem addressed by the FLOOD-serv Project is related to preventing and mitigating the negative consequences of floods. Floods endanger lives and cause human tragedy, as well as heavy economic or environmental losses. Flooding can take the form of flash floods, coastal floods, or river floods, but also by urban flooding that it is caused when the city sewage system and draining canals do not have the capacity to drain the amounts of rainwater. With the prospect of climate change, the frequency and intensity of floods in large parts of Europe is projected to increase.
The overall objective of FLOOD-serv is to provide a pro-active and personalized citizen-centric public service application that will enhance the involvement of the citizen and will harness the collaborative power of ICT networks (networks of people, knowledge and sensors) to raise awareness on flood risks and to enable collective risk mitigation solutions and response actions.
In WP 2, three studies were carried out related to the flood risk management public services in the selected regions. These studies investigated comparatively the European, national and regional relevant legal framework (D2.1) then evaluated the characteristics of flood risk management public services including existing ICT instruments used (D2.2) and finally produced an evaluation of public and stakeholder participation procedures in each pilot city (D2.3).
Most technical work was carried under WPs 3 and 4. User and technical requirements were elicited and the architecture of the overall solution and each Component were defined. Then we proceeded with the development and testing of each Component and the FLOOD-serv Portal. Finally the whole solution was integrated.
In WP5, the FLOOD-serv System (and its 5+1 – including the Portal) Components were tested in 5 Pilot Cities (with different configurations in each), with 3 different types of participants (citizens, stakeholders and employees of Pilot Cities) in 3 Cycles of Piloting. The process was complex, involving careful and detailed planning and methodological thinking, extensive effort for participant mobilization and training, use of diverse working/data collection instruments, a difficult process of data centralization and analysis, repeated improvements and bug fixing based on received feedback.
WP6 ensured the dissemination of project results to a variety of target groups (general public, stakeholders: public and private organizations,etc. ) through several communication channels (classic media, Internet, Social Media, etc.).
The main results of the Project are:
1) from a technical point of view the FLOOD-serv System is fully functional with all of its components at between TRL 6 and 8.
2) The system was extensively tested and improved. In most cases (Components and Pilots) the functionalities tested were 100% functional, and feedback received regarding measures such as usefulness, ease of use, intuitiveness of use, etc. was positive.
3) Dissemination activities reached out a significant target public.
4) Sustainability and commercialization prospects are promising with some demand already identified for the FLOOD-serv System and/or its Components.
I. Expected results and progress beyond the state of the art by the end of the project:
Technical progress beyond the state of the art was reached on each of the Components of the System and on the system as a whole, at both technical and functional level, through merging field area (flood management) knowledge with ICT capabilities:
1. EMC is developed under this project making use of data from the other components and outside the project to produce analyses, decision suggestions and simulations, and monitoring of actions. The EMC incorporates specific flood risk management knowledge from the Project Pilots.
2. TMS analyses satellite and aerial images to produce automated detection of flood related events. Novel and intelligent algorithms are being developed for identifying flood related events from images, representing an alternative to sensor data, where sensors are not present .
3. SMC supports authorities in identifying evolution of public opinion on social media, creating opinion graphs and maps and enabling them to formulate appropriate communication strategies and messages.
4. CDF allows citizens to transmit messages related to floods to relevant public authorities. The novelty of this solution is that from a technical point of view it matches flood management back office processes.
5. SW component is a knowledge management solution aimed at incorporating and encoding in a human and machine readable format, relevant and actionable knowledge about floods. It contains knowledge more general or specific knowledge about floods..
6. Finally the FLOOD-serv central Platform and Portal acts as a single gate and single sign-on point of access to all components but presents citizens with relevant real time data about floods and allowing citizens to interact with authorities.

II. The expected impacts as defined by the Project description are:
1. Stimulating the creation, delivery and use of new services on a variety of devices, utilizing new web technologies, coupled with open public data.
The FLOOD-serv system makes use of a variety of web based technologies, as described related to each of its components. Each component is based on a client-server Web architecture, and all components communicate among them via Web services. A variety of data is used from data internally produced by project Components (SMC, TMS, CDF) to externally accessed data like sensor data (meteorological or hydrological) open weather data or existing hazard maps. Services are delivered using both computer/browser based and mobile technologies.
2. Reducing the administrative burden of citizens and businesses (e.g. collecting information from citizens only once).
FLOOD-serv System provides an ease of administrative burden in several ways:
a. By offering a direct and simple communication channel between citizens and authorities involved in flood management through the Citizen Direct Feedback (CDF) component, the CDF App and the Portal.
b. By providing the Emergency Management Console (EMC) enabling authorities to manage the workflows and communication in various phases of emergency management. Emergency management teams are able to create alerts and missions, assign actions to various emergency responders, monitor their implementation, create reports.
3. Increased transparency of and trust in public administrations.
FLOOD-serv System offers multiple channels of communication between public authorities and citizens, particularly via the FLOOD-serv Portal and the CDF Mobile App.