Funded by Ensemble in the first call for small grant proposals, the iCapture FLOOD project involved the development of an interactive touch-screen table to explore flood risk and provide options for natural flood management (NFM).
The touch-screen table provides an innovative digital solution as an alternative to using paper maps and enables flood models to update flood risk information in real-time. Stakeholders (e.g. general-public, NGOs, farmers, policy-makers) with an interest in using landscape-interventions to reduce flood-risk can now add their local knowledge and see a simulation of their input almost immediately. Different scenarios and impacts can be visualised quickly to see the NFM options available and encourage discussion about the locations and measures that could be put into practice.
The visualisation of the data helps to engage stakeholders outside of academia with the science and encourages development of their understanding of modelling, hydrological change and how numerous small changes in landscape could be used to mitigate flooding. The table has been trialled at workshops for farmers within NFM target areas (Cumbria, Huntingdonshire and Somerset) in February 2018. The table will also be used for more stakeholder engagement events over the next 3 years as part of the NERC funded Q-NFM project.
Dr Nick Chappell, lead of the Q-NFM project, said ‘EPSRC-Ensemble’s co-funding of the iCapture table has given us a unique tool to link complex NERC science with end-users. Natural Flood Management will only deliver its promised benefits if applied very extensively in the landscape. For this to happen stakeholders from flood-affected communities to Defra-funders of landscape-interventions must feel engaged with and believe in the science. The Ensemble funding and resultant collaborate work with JBA is a key milestone in this process.’
The project funding was awarded to Nick Chappell, Lancaster University, and Barry Hankin, JBA Consulting.