The RainGain project is a joint UK, French, Belgian and Dutch project to improve fine-scale measurement and prediction of rainfall and to enhance urban pluvial flood modelling and prediction.  This will enable urban water managers to adequately cope with intense storms, so that the vulnerability of populations and critical infrastructure can be reduced.  The LGiU’s Local Government Flood Forum, Imperial College London and the UK Met Office are the UK partners.  You can find the project website here.

Project aims

The project aims to obtain fine-scale rainfall and flood data at the urban scale: a level of detail at which such information is currently lacking. The availability of fine-scale rainfall and flood data will enable urban water authorities to adequately cope with peak rainfall and will help to prevent the severe pluvial flood damage that in the past decades has been associated with these events.

This technique has only recently been developed to become sufficiently detailed to be applicable to the scale of urban areas. This innovative technique will be brought to implementation in water management practice at pilot locations in the partner countries. The installation of new radars for fine-scale rainfall measurement at pilot locations in Rotterdam and the Paris Region is foreseen as part of the RainGain project.  A similar technique has been installed in Leuven several years before. In the UK, a novel, super resolution protocol will be applied to obtain detailed rainfall data from the C-band radar of the MetOffice.

The fine-scale rainfall data will provide urban water managers with detailed peak rainfall information at temporal and spatial scales appropriate to the fastness of urban run-off processes. The information will be applied in in flood prediction models at pilot locations in the four participating countries to identify flood-prone locations and develop effective solutions for better flood protection such as early warning systems and optimised, real-time storage basin operation. These will in their turn be tested based on the detailed rainfall data and flood models. The end users of the rainfall equipment, data and models will be trained so they will be able to take over the project deliverables and to resume responsibility in operation and management.

To find out more about the project, and how your authority can get involved, please contact Andy Johnston, [email protected] or 020 7554 2800.