Surface water flood forecasting and real-time communication symposium


Wed Jan 10 2024 at 10:00 am to 05:00 pm


Millennium Point | Birmingham, EN

Bringing together the surface water flood forecasting community to identify priorities and new opportunities
About this Event


Katherine Self, Incident Management & Resilience Senior Advisor, Environment Agency

Dr Sally Brown, Principal Scientist in Flood Risk FCRM R&D team, Environment Agency

Prof Cathryn Birch, University of Leeds

Dr Linda Speight, University of Oxford


Surface water (SW) flooding represents a real and growing threat to infrastructure, homes, the economy and people’s lives. Forecasting for SW flooding, creating alerts for the potential impacts of SW flooding at a community level, and communicating those alerts is challenging and complex. Furthermore, there is a limited common national approach, which leads to application of differing standards of service. As a result, there is minimal sharing of lessons learned and only a limited arena in which developments can be understood or good practice agreed.

SW flood alert services that do exist are separate to the flood warning service for rivers and sea, provided by the Environment Agency, potentially causing confusion for professional end users and the public.

This symposium brings together key actors in the SW flood forecasting and informing space. The focus will be on the UK, with international examples welcomed where lessons can be learnt for the UK response.

Discussion topics:

• new opportunities in observing extreme rainfall and floods.

• high resolution and AI-based SW flood forecasting.

• use of real-time and non-real time information in SW flood forecasting.

• understanding the impacts of SW flooding.

• types of alert needed e.g. public alerting and enabling Category 1 and 2 responders to be prepared to effectively respond.


• shared understanding and prioritisation of current work and where solutions are needed

• research gaps and needs in SW flood forecasting and real-time communication research, especially those that are solution focused

• evidence base for a NERC highlight topic idea (if successful, would result in a specific research funding call)

• network to identify and respond to other future funding calls.

Attendees: Environment Agency, Met Office, Flood Forecasting Centre, government, academic researchers, consultants, and risk management authority end users/ commissioners interested in the SW flood forecasting and communication space.

Format: Invited talks and small group discussions.

There will be an ethics form to sign on the day. Please contact us for more information if you require it in advance.


Where is it happening?

Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


GBP 0.00

Environment Agency and academia

Host or Publisher Environment Agency and academia

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