RPS has delivered Catchment Flood Risk and Management (CFRAM) studies across four out of the seven river basin districts in the Republic of Ireland on behalf of the Office of Public Works. The purpose of the studies is to provide the full range of analysis services in support of Irish Government to meet their statutory obligations under the EU Floods Directive.
The studies covered over 100 areas identified as being at potential significant risk. The services provided included survey procurement, hydrological and hydraulic analysis, risk assessment, option development and culminated in the delivery of detailed flood risk mapping and Flood Risk Management Plans across more than ten catchments / units of management.
From topographical river channel and LiDAR based floodplain surveys, detailed hydraulic models were developed for the 100+ areas identified. The hydrological analysis included acting as a test bed for the latest suite of hydrological analysis tools developed by the Office of Public Works. The studies also incorporated innovative techniques to process rainfall radar data and use it within hydrological models to compliment the statistical approaches based on hydrometric gauging stations. Coastal analysis, considering the combined effects of astronomical tides, storm surge and wave action was undertaken for the coastal risk areas. Flood risk management options were developed for every area where significant risk was demonstrated through the detailed analysis. This involved damage assessment, cost benefit and multi-criteria analysis to arrive at management measures such as hard defence schemes, attenuation, upper catchment management and policy recommendations which demonstrated best value for the Irish Government.
These holistic studies began in 2011/12 with staged deliverables from 2014 through to 2017 and involved the management of a large multidisciplinary team to meet strict EU reporting deadlines.