17 May 2019

Piloting an operational Water Outlook system for the Danish EPA

In the flood prone areas of Denmark, forecasts of river levels are valuable information for farmers, industries, property owners and many other stakeholders.

Image © Shutterstock/Arne Bramsen

Using new technologies, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to use and combine existing hydrological and meteorological data in innovative ways in a Water Outlook system to provide information on current rivers levels, as well as of forecasts of water levels and flood risks.

The expansion of the Danish EPA’s river gauging network from 300 to 500 stations makes it possible for them to cover a larger part of Denmark’s rivers. Initially, the Water Outlook system targets the pilot area, the Vejle River, but will be designed – supported by cloud computing technologies – for upscaling to a higher level covering more river basins in Denmark. The forecasted water levels will be based on efficient machine learning algorithms, estimating the water levels within the coming days (1-2 days) based on real-time and historical information such as rainfall, water levels, and so on.

The Water Outlook system will allow farmers, industry and other stakeholders to access:

  • Accurate and reliable water level information available along Danish rivers
  • Forecasted water levels based on machine learning algorithms for fast and reliable results
  • Mapping of flood risk areas allowing those affected to prepare before the event
  • Easily accessible service available on all electronic platforms

The design and functionality vision of the Water Outlook system were formulated through an interactive and agile co-creation process involving key staff from both EPA and DHI.

Co-creation (‘Design thinking’) workshop with EPA staff. ©DHI