The country adopted the platform in 2019 for its flood forecasting system
In 2020, as part of the “Strengthening Disaster Management Capacity of Women in Guyana and Dominica” project, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and dedicated to the strengthening of resilience to disasters, Guyana adopted the Carribean Dewetra platform, developed by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), and running since 2011.
The path that led to the adoption of the platform in Guyana was carried out by the United Nations Programme for Satellite Operational Applications (UNOSAT) in collaboration with CIMA Research Foundation. The technical component of the initiative, implemented by CIMA, was devoted to the development of a national flood forecasting system covering the whole country. In particular, the project aimed at improving flood predictions by hydrological models by exploiting technical-scientific knowledge but also data collected directly on the territory, through dialogue with local communities.
“The more strictly technical component of the project aimed to develop a system of early flood warning at national level, starting with the improvement of the predictive and informative capacity of hydrological models”, says Alessandro Masoero, project manager for CIMA Research Foundation. In particular, the researchers of the Foundation worked on the development of the forecasting chain, to be used for the subsequent communication steps.
“This work is a meeting point between strictly scientific and technical-application development”, continues the researcher. “We have based it on the Flood-PROOFS system, which combines data from observation networks and weather forecast models to evaluate the possible effects of precipitation on the ground in a given area”.
As it happens in other places in the worlds, the lack of available data was a challenge that had to be adreeses. To do so, researchers from UNOSAT and CIMA Research Foundation, together with technicians of the Guyana Hydrometeorological Service, carried out precise hydraulic surveys in the field and collaborated directly with local communities (the detailed hydraulic forecast, the last piece of the forecasting chain, is operational on four flood-prone locations in Guyana), collecting a series of information on flood vulnerability and dynamics in the area: how often is there a flood? At what level did the water reach?
“It was therefore not strictly technical information, but it helped both to calibrate the hydraulic model and to respond to the needs of the communities”, says Masoero. “In this way we were able to develop a forecasting chain capable of indicating, 3-5 days in advance, the probability that the water could exceed a value defined as critical by the community itself. This chain, working on Carribean Dewetra platform, enhanced Hydromet flood monitoring and forecasting capabilities, allowing the issuing of timely and reliable flood warnings.”.
myDEWETRA.world is an integrated system developed by the Italian Department of National Civil Protection (DPC)- Presidency of the Council of Ministers, for real-time prediction, monitoring and surveillance of natural hazards (floods, landslides and wildfires). The system is the result of an Agreement among DPC and CIMA Research Foundation for science-based disaster risk management methodologies and technologies in Italy and in countries where the Italian Cooperation is active. myDEWETRA.world combines scientific knowledge, methodologies and the standardization of operating procedures. It is subject to continuous research and development in order to meet the needs of disaster risk managers and meteo-hydrological national services. For the DPC - Responsible for the Convention: Dr. Fausto Guzzetti | Design and Requirements: Eng. Angela C. Corina.