Workshop: Hydrological services for business

ECMWF | Reading | 8-9 May 2018

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Workshop description

This workshop offered a unique opportunity for global businesses to meet the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) development team and influence the future shape of its hydrological services and forecasting products.


  • Introduce GloFAS services and products to the global business community

  • Provide a networking opportunity between a global hydrological forecasting service provider and the business sector

  • Identify and prioritise global business needs in terms of hydrological products and services

  • Draft a future development strategy for GloFAS with these needs in mind

  • Establish a community of users of hydrological services from the business sector

  • Provide GloFAS training and best practice


Floods and droughts are some of the most challenging environmental hazards. In 2017, their combined cost worldwide is thought to have reached more than 50 billion dollars.

In a global economy and interconnected world, local hazards can have global impacts on business, including service disruption (supply, production and distribution), variable expenditure (commodity price, damage costs, premiums) and changes in market value (production and demand).

Access to reliable reanalyses and forecasts of hydrological extremes could enable businesses to put in place measures to mitigate anticipated impacts whilst capitalising on potential opportunities.

Thanks to recent computational, scientific and technological advances, this is now possible. With skilful predictions of global weather patterns up to several weeks in advance, and the use of global hydrological models, flood and drought events can be predicted, and it is possible to anticipate where and when the flow in rivers will be higher or lower than usual.

About GloFAS

The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) is a hydrological service, currently providing global overviews of upcoming flood events (up to 30 days ahead) and of high and low flow (up to 4 months ahead) in rivers across the world. GloFAS has over 1,600 registered users. Its forecasts are freely available to all users.


Emergency Management Service - Support to disaster management from space
Peter Salamon (European Commission Joint Research Centre)

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Why hydrological services are important to business
David Green (NASA)

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Introduction to GloFAS
Ervin Zsoter (ECMWF)

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Application extended range forecast: Bangladesh case study for 2017 flood
Sazzad Hossain (Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre Bangladesh)

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GloFAS as a flood alert system in Brazil civil protection: performance analysis
Marcio Moraes (CEMADEN)

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Performance analysis of long lead flood forecast information from GloFAS
Anshul Agarwal (RIMES)

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The importance of hydrological services and forecast for decision making: example of the humanitarian sector
Catalina Jaime (Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre)

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Global flood inundation forecasting combining GloFAS and flood hazard maps: A case study of the 2017 Brahmaputra floods
John Bevington (JBA Consulting)

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CLARA: Co-design and co-development between service providers and end users
Arthur Essenfelder (Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change)

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GloFAS products and evaluation
Shaun Harrigan (ECMWF)

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GloFAS foreseen evolutions
Calum Baugh (ECMWF)

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C3S: Climate Data Store and Tool Box
Carlo Buontempo (ECMWF)

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Providing tailor made forecasts to the community
Jim Nelson (Brigham Young University, USA)

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GloFAS current and future data services
Fredrik Wetterhall (ECMWF)

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