Hydrological Web Services for Operational Flood Risk Monitoring and Forecasting at Local Scale in Niger

De Filippis, T.; Rocchi, L.; Massazza, G.; Pezzoli, A.; Rosso, M.; Housseini Ibrahim, M.; Tarchiani, V.
Published in: ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2022, 11, 236
Date: April 5, 2022


Emerging hydrological services provide stakeholders and political authorities with useful and reliable information to support the decision-making process and develop flood risk management strategies. Most of these services adopt the paradigm of open data and standard web services, paving the way to increase distributed hydrometeorological services’ interoperability. Moreover, sharing of data, models, information, and the use of open-source software, greatly contributes to expanding the knowledge on flood risk and to increasing flood preparedness. Nevertheless, services’ interoperability and open data are not common in local systems implemented in developing countries. This paper presents the web platform and related services developed for the Local Flood Early Warning System of the Sirba River in Niger (SLAPIS) to tailor hydroclimatic information to the user’s needs, both in content and format. Building upon open-source software components and interoperable web services, we created a software framework covering data capture and storage, data flow management procedures from several data providers, real-time web publication, and service-based information dissemination. The geospatial infrastructure and web services respond to the actual and local decision-making context to improve the usability and usefulness of information derived from hydrometeorological forecasts, hydraulic models, and real-time observations. This paper presents also the results of the three years of operational campaigns for flood early warning on the Sirba River in Niger. Semiautomatic flood warnings tailored and provided to end-users bridge the gap between available technology and local users’ needs for adaptation, mitigation, and flood risk management, and make progress toward sustainable development goals.