Defining Real-Time Flood Alerts with Multicriteria Analysis

People confidence in flood forecasting systems is related to the quality and accuracy of the forecasts. These two properties are basically function of the set of models that produces the forecasts. If flood events are observed but not forecasted or forecasted but not observed, the alert can be considered an error by citizens not well informed about how flood forecasting system works. If a lot of forecasting errors occur, citizen confidence may be reduced for future alerts. The main objective of this paper is to develop a methodology to produce flood forecasts risk maps for different urban catchments. To implement the quality of the forecasts a multi criteria analysis is proposed. This method can prevent the spread of misunderstanding information to many citizens. The case study is a small catchment in São Paulo City named Jaguaré Basin. This area was chosen due to its diverse floodplain occupation. The real-time flood forecast alerts can be represented by thresholds that show a certain real time hydrological condition. This information can be stated by flood maps. The methodology to define these thresholds is based in a set of parameters: runoff depth, water velocity, flood probability, and construction vulnerability. This set of parameters is used to define more precise alert boundaries. In this way it is possible to have more reliable flood forecasts.

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