Urban Flooding in 2010, ©Paul Bates

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

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This site is hosted by the British Geological Survey but responsibility for the content of the site lies with the STORM Risk Mitigation project not with the British Geological Survey, Questions, suggestions or comments regarding the contents of this site should be directed to Emily Crane