20 April 2017
During the first week of February 2017, 24 forecasters in the riparian countries were presented with version 0.1 of the Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) for the Sava River. Deltares, along with Royal HaskoningDHV, Eptisa, the Hydro-Engineering Institute of Sarajevo and Mihailo Andjelic joined forces last year to help riparian countries in the Sava river basin to establish a basin-wide Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS).
The Sava FFWS project, financed by the World Bank, started in June 2016 and will be finalized by the end of August 2018. The system will enable the five countries involved to take the right management decisions and implement operational measures to prevent and mitigate severe flood and drought situations on the basis of reliable forecasts of water levels and discharges with a long lead time. With this system the countries hope to be better prepared for emergency situations like the one that occurred in May 2014, when disastrous floods in the Sava basin resulted in 79 casualties and substantial economic damage in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
Special transboundary project
The Sava-FFWS is a very special project because the Sava river basin (97,700 km2) is shared by five countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. Each country has its own models, monitoring systems, forecasting systems, water authorities and interests. An effective FFWS has to bridge the differences and support collaboration in the field of water management.
Delft-FEWS was chosen as platform for the system, allowing a wide range of external data and various models to be integrated into a common platform.
The training workshop and delivery of the first pre-release of the Sava FFWS took place at in Ljubljana in February 2017 and was attended by 8 IT specialists and 24 forecasters. Participants were very satisfied and were especially happy with the fact that after many years of talking, they finally got something in hand that really works. The first pre-release was considered as very functional and advanced. The next pre-releases are planned for June and September 2017, while a fully operational system shall be handed over to the beneficiaries for their use by September 2018.
More information on the Sava project can be found here.
Klaas-Jan van Heeringen