Infoterra launches first comprehensive Flood Risk Model of Great Britain to include Surface Water Flooding

23rd April 2008 – Infoterra Ltd, a leader in the provision of geospatial products and services, has launched the first comprehensive flood risk model of Great Britain to incorporate all the major causes of flooding, significantly assisting in the assessment of risk at a property level. The Pitt Review, which considers the lessons to be learnt from the Summer 2007 floods, clearly recommended the development and use of a new generation of tools for predicting and modelling flooding. This new Flood Risk Model meets that recommendation by going beyond traditional river and coastal flood risks to include the risks from surface water flooding, dam breaks and groundwater. In addition, the model takes into account single and multiple events. This improved information will be particularly valuable for decision support across a range of key markets, as well as providing essential data for emergency planners and responders.

JBA Consulting, one of the leading specialists in flood risk and environmental management, partnered with Infoterra Ltd to develop this unique flood risk assessment model. This product combines Infoterra’s highly accurate geospatial height data with JBA’s flood modelling expertise to provide a new level of intelligence to flood risk predictions.

It is estimated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), that the cost of claims for damages caused by the UK’s Summer 2007 floods alone will be over £3 billion. For insurance companies particularly, this comprehensive model will enable them to be far more accurate in flood risk management, going beyond traditional postcode assessment to focus on the risks faced by individual properties. This tool will also help insurers calculate gradation of risk, providing them with accurate accumulation of risk a complete geographical perspective of flood exposure across their entire book as well as highlighting safer geographical areas.

“Surface water floods were responsible for a large percentage of property damaged during the Summer 2007 floods. The majority of this risk simply has not been highlighted by traditional flood models,” commented Dr Andy Wells, Sales Director for Infoterra Ltd. “Sir Michael Pitt called for new modeling techniques in his December 2007 review of the lessons to be learnt from the 2007 floods. We have responded promptly in offering a model that considers the single or combined impact of flood risks, following our successful co-operation with JBA Consulting. We can now deliver new levels of risk data right down to individual property level – providing a valuable step forward,” he continued.

“By combining Infoterra’s highly accurate lidar height data with our latest three-dimensional modelling techniques, we’ve been able to provide the intelligence that clearly indicates those areas and properties that are vulnerable to surface water flooding,” added Jill Boulton, Technical Director at JBA Consulting. “By including data on surface water floods, groundwater and even dam breaks, we believe that this model provides exactly the kind of new risk assessment levels that The Pitt Review considers to be essential going forward.”

Infoterra offers this Flood Risk Model as an online risk assessment service and is backed by the power and flexibility of the company’s major £2 million geospatial data hosting infrastructure. This online service enables Infoterra to provide organisations with very simple operational answers to key questions such as:

  • ‘Is this property at risk from flooding?’
  • ‘What is my organisation’s total exposure to flood risks?’
  • ‘What’s the likely impact of multi-source flooding on a given area?’
  • ‘How can we support the emergency services planning and management during a severe flood event?’

About Infoterra Ltd.
Infoterra Ltd is a leading provider of geographic information products and services. Its portfolio of geographic information solutions includes airborne and satellite data acquisition, geo-information creation, database management and outsourced hosting. Infoterra provides geospatial knowledge to companies worldwide to help them make informed decisions. The company has major customers in utilities, insurance, engineering, agriculture, defence and oil, gas & mineral exploration.

Infoterra Ltd. is part of the Infoterra Group, which comprises companies in France, Germany and Spain, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Astrium Ltd, an EADS company.

For more information contact
Sarah Haslam, Infoterra Ltd, +44 (0)116 273 2300,
Cheryl Billson, PR for Infoterra, +44 (0)7791 720460,

Author: EARSC

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