Simulation for protection against heavy rain and floods

As a result of rapidly advancing global warming, climatic changes and extreme weather events are occurring more and more. In addition to the expected periods of extreme heat, heavy rainfall and flooding pose dangers and problems that must be overcome as early and accurately as possible, both in cities and the countryside, by taking sustainable measures for climate adaptation. Intelligent risk management and efficient adaptation strategies, such as securing and creating retention areas, open rainwater drainage, the greening of facades and roofs, and many more, increase the resilience of cities and regions in the face of severe weather. In this context, our interactive simulation software Visdom features everything a modern water-sensitive urban and landscape design in terms of blue-green infrastructure needs to define the right measures and make the best decisions based on robust data and scenarios.

Blue-green infrastructure and Sponge City

Visualisierung eines Stadtteils mit verschiedenfarbigen Grundrissen in der VRVis-Simulationssoftware Visdom.
Simulation von Maßnahmen für eine wassersensible Stadtgestaltung mit Elementen wie Dachbegrünung, Retentionsspeicher und offener Ableitung.

Especially cities and municipalities suffer from the consequences of climate change: heatwaves alternate with extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and floods. Although climate change is a global problem, local interventions in urban areas, in particular, have great potential for rapid relief. The increasingly frequent and heavy rainfall can not only be tamed by innovative urban development concepts like Sponge City but also be made productive. With our unique digital simulation and visualization application Visdom, we solve real problems caused by too much water. Often, even simple measures such as green roofs or rainwater-fed biotopes improve the situation.

Disaster prevention and flood management

Visdom screenshot showing a settlement with color-coded houses with different flood risk and flood zones.
The digital twin of a major city or region provides the ideal basis for analyzing all flood risks and testing tailored measures based on actual conditions.

One of the most negative effects of the climate crisis is an increase in flood disasters as a result of heavy rainfall events. For this reason, it is essential for cities and municipalities worldwide to be able to get a precise understanding of which infrastructure is particularly at risk and which structural or landscape planning precautions should be taken, for example, to avert flooding. Our simulation software Visdom offers the ideal support for this: digital twins of entire cities and regions are created from real data, in which all kinds of extreme weather scenarios can be simulated at speeds previously unheard of on the market. This makes it possible to digitally determine the most suitable measures - from constructional modifications to the most suitable locations for protective barriers, to the best evacuation routes - and, based on this information, to decide which solutions will be implemented in real life.

Flood prediction

Screenshot from the simulation software Visdom, where you can see action planning options to counter flooding.
Whether it's protective walls, temporary sandbags, or other measures, Visdom makes it possible to quickly determine what provides the best protection against the threat of flooding.

Even the best prognosis cannot prevent the event from occurring, but it can help considerably to get an idea of the extent and scope of a storm or flood. Flood warnings have a long tradition in Austria, in the last century fast riders informed the public when river levels rose alarmingly and cities were acutely threatened by flooding. Today's state-of-the-art flood protection includes precise flood prediction. We can carry out these project-related or based on any GIS coordinates. This is important, for example, for personalised forecasts, but also for marine navigation.

Risk analysis

Quality certificate of the standard reference procedure "heavy rain hazard maps"
The simulation software Visdom has received the quality certificate of the standard reference procedure "heavy rain hazard maps" of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg and thus fulfills all quality requirements for the creation of hazard analyses and heavy rain hazard maps of the German federal state.

To make cities and regions more resilient, i.e. more resistant and robust against floods or heavy rainfall, risk analysis is a key element. During a successful risk assessment, weak points are identified, hazard zones are calculated and the risks quantified. In this context, we offer detailed calculations in the micro and macro range for various hydrodynamic events, for small municipalities or large areas, for entire regions or even countries. In addition to the analysis itself, Visdom offers easy-to-understand visualizations, which are ideally suited for preparing the public and emergency personnel for possible extreme weather events in advance.

Our expertise and partners in the field of flood and heavy rain simulation

Our expertise is based on years of joint research and development work with top-class scientific partners and renowned application partners.

SCientific PartneRS: Prof. Günter Blöschl (Ingenieurhydrologie und Wassermengenwirtschaft, TU Wien) sowie Prof. Sebastian Noelle (RWTH Aachen), University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management

APPLICATION partneRs:  StEB Köln, Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln (AöR), Hamburg Wasser, Oldenburgisch-ostfriesischer Wasserverband, Dahlem, Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie und Mobilität Rheinland-Pfalz (MKUEN), Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft, Regionen und Tourismus (BMLRT), Österreichischer Versicherungsverband, DHI Group, Henning Larsen, , RIOCOM – Ingenieurbüro für Kulturtechnik und Wasserwirtschaft DI Albert Schwingshandl, Dr. Pecher AG

Visual analytics for a better environment

Visual analytics tools are well established in the digitalized industry to ensure efficient and reliable predictive maintenance and real-time performance analysis based on the evaluation of large time series data sets. As a result, visual analytics solutions save costs and time at the highest level in the industry. Used in an environmental context, visual analytics creates a better and deeper understanding of climate change and enables more reliable forecasts. In addition, visual analytics, e.g., of climate and energy data, can make crucial contributions to the development and verification of resilient, data-based responses to the climate crisis, for example, in the energy sector.

Visual analysis of meteorological time series data

The back of a man and the back of a woman's head looking at a visualization depicting various heat zones of a city in shades of red.
Climate data, especially in urban areas, is above all very large, very varied - and highly complex. Visual analytics creates an ideal basis for experts to visually bring together this data and thus help make cities fit for the climatic changes of the future. (c) PID / David Bohmann

High-resolution meteorological time series data are invaluable for detecting profound changes in the climate system. These data sets allow a comprehensive investigation of warming and cooling trends, the detection of pronounced structural changes and periodic behaviors, and more. For comprehensive as well as user-intuitive analysis of these data, which can include all details such as temperature spikes and contextual outliers, we are developing visual analytics tools combining high-performance processing with web- and cloud-based applications.

Renewable energy visual analytics for predictive maintenance

Bild einer Fischwanderhilfe und eines Staudamms mit Landschaft
Visual analytics for the maintenance and upkeep of hydropower plants contributes significantly to a sustainable future. (c) VERBUND

Renewable energies such as hydropower have been the backbone of the energy supply in Austria for many decades. Many hydropower plants are, therefore, of older age and need to be closely monitored and performance optimized to support a green and climate-friendly energy future. Cutting-edge sensors and tailored data analysis systems provide essential tools for real-time monitoring and improved maintenance based on an interactive digital hydropower twin.