A new Delft-FEWS user in North America

(by Dominic Roussel, forecasting team leader, MELCC, dominic.roussel@melcc.gouv.qc.ca)

Our flood forecasting team of Québec’s Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatique (MELCC) recently completed a new Delft-FEWS system configuration. We are now ready to phase out our new in-house system and start producing new, state of the art hydrological forecasts before the next spring melt.

The MELCC’s flood forecasting team is in charge of producing daily hydrological forecast for over 100 locations in the province of Québec in Canada. Forecasts are used by Québec’s Government to coordinate flood-response actions and to support management of public dams.

Flood forecasting in Québec started in the early 2000s with the development of an in-house system. Almost two decades later, increasing demands for forecasting along with the availability of new production methods motivated the switch to a new solution.  

More NWPs sources, improved snow data assimilation and ensemble hydrological forecasts are just a few examples of the new tools and features provided to the forecasters by the new system. 

The configuration of the new system was done by three dedicated MELCC forecasting engineers. Frequent visit by Ben Balk, Jan Verkade and Matthijs Lemans and other support from Deltares’ staff made the completion of the work possible within a year.

The new system includes various NWP predictions for both precipitation and temperature; such as Environment Canada’s regional, global and ensemble NWP products and their US equivalents (NAM and GFS). These weather forecasts force a chain of other models including a snow model, Hydrotel rainfall-to-runoff models and reservoir models. Additional products include post-processing based uncertainty estimates and seasonal forecasts based on ESP.

“We are really proud of the hard work of our team and thankful for the great support the Deltares Team provided us along the way.” (Dominic Roussel, forecasting team leader)


Some screenshots of the front end of the Système de Prévision Hydrologique (SPH)


Part of the SPH implementation team: Jan Verkade (Deltares), Simon Lachance-Cloutier (MELCC), Thomas-Charles Fortier-Fillion (MELCC) and Dominic Roussel (MELCC, team leader, forecasting team)