The DEMON project aims to improve our ability to quantify storm impacts and predict urban floods in greater detail. DEMON stands for "Developing Enhanced impact MOdels for integration with Next generation NWP and climate outputs". This project is a collaboration between the universities of Bristol and Reading, King's College London, the UK National Oceanography Centre and the UK Met Office.
The cost of flooding in the UK
Current best estimates indicate that approximately 5 million people living in 2 million properties are at risk of flooding resulting from extreme storms in the UK. Of these approximately 200,000 homes do not meet minimum protection standards set by the Government. When major floods do occur then total damage costs are high (£3.5Bn for the summer 2007 floods) and the total annual spending on flood defence approaches £800M.
Better predictions of floods
Protecting this population and minimizing these costs into the future requires the development of robust computer models to translate predictions of future rainfall from weather forecast and climate models into meaningful estimates of flood risk. These predictions of flood impact can then be used to plan investment decisions, provide real-time warnings, design flood defence schemes and generally help better manage storm risks and mitigate the effects of dangerous climate change. This is the aim of the DEMON project that is part of the NERC Storm Risk Mitigation programme.
Aims of the DEMON project
The project aims to significantly extend our ability to quantify storm impacts over both the short and long term through:
- A better understanding of the errors in weather forecast and climate model rainfalls and the development of improved methods to characterize and correct these uncertainties
- The development of methods to use satellite and airborne data on floods to improve flood forecasts
- Improved methods to predict water extents, depths and velocities during floods for whole urban areas down to the resolution of individual buildings (1-2m horizontal resolution).
Key project members of DEMON
Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Bates, University of Bristol
Dr. Sarah Dance, University of Reading
Dr. David Mason, University of Reading
Dr. Kevin Hodges, University of Reading
Dr. Jim Freer, University of Bristol
Dr Hannah Cloke, Kings's College London
Dr. Kevin Horsburgh, National Oceanography Centre
Professor Brian Golding, Met Office