Flood early warning systems
Large scale flooding frequently affects the agricultural region of Beni in Bolivia. Yearly floods cause significant economic losses. To alleviate these effects, the inhabitants of the Beni region should be warned for upcoming extreme discharges on the Beni River in order to be able to take the necessary precautions in time. Under the programme ‘Vivir con el Agua’ (living with water), initiated by the Bolivian Ministry for Water Management in cooperation with the Dutch Embassy, a consortium of consultants under the management of Witteveen+Bos developed and implemented a flood early warning system, consisting of a data information module, a hydrodynamic forecasting computer model and a communication system. Data analysis was carried out to generate the input for the hydrodynamic forecasting.
Staff members of the Bolivian administration were trained to use the system which will enable the ministry to warn the inhabitants of Beni in time, hence reducing economic loss in the future. The system also allows the administration to produce flood risk maps that can be used for creating spatial plans focused on less vulnerability against floods.