Floods are consuming 2.1% from Romania’s GNP | SIVECO Romania

Floods are consuming 2.1% from Romania’s GNP

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The R&D project FLOOD-serv aims to prevent the floods’ disastrous effects through social networks and smart technologies. SIVECO Romania is the project’s coordinator at European level

Floods produce human tragedies and huge economic loss, having at the same time serious and irreversible consequences for the environment.

The entire Europe is facing natural disasters of outstanding scale.

  • According to public data, in Romania, floods and storms have recently resulted in a loss of 76 lives and caused at least 1.66 billion Euros damage (meaning the equivalent of 2.1% from Romania’s GNP). They have affected about 656,392 ha agricultural lands, 10,420 km of roads, 23.8 km of railways, 9,113 bridges and foot bridges and contaminated 90,394 wells. The Danube Delta, a special habitat, is especially affected by floods. Here theweather phenomena and human actions have produced over the past century significant changes to ecosystems and to the area’s morphology. 
  • In Italy, since 1944 until now, the estimated cost of the damages produced as a result of earthquakes, landslides and flooding amounts to 242.5 billion euro (approximately 3.5 billion per year). 82% of the municipalities in the peninsula are exposed to hydrologic risk and over 5,700,000 people live in areas with potential flood risk.
  • Slovakia was faced with 599 floods, just in the first ten months of 2014. 
  • In the Iberian Peninsula too, floods have had considerable impact on people’s lives and properties. In Spain have been identified 1,398 places where major floods take place periodically. The Portuguese hydrographical network, composed of 12 rivers shared with Spain in the West, has the same high risk of calamity. 

The risks related to flooding in the large hydrographic basins, on the territory of several countries can be reduced through transnational, interdisciplinary approaches within international projects, in which all parties are co-interested. 

Such a transnational approach is the research European project FLOOD-serv, developed within the Horizon 2020 Programme. 

The project’s overall objective is the development of an application providing personalized citizen-centric public services.

FLOOD-serv contributes to increasing the citizens’ involvements in the risk areas, harnessing the collaborative power of ITC networks (networks of people, knowledge, sensors) to raise awareness of flooding risks and to identify solutions for risk mitigation and coordination of response actions in case of calamities.

Practically, we are talking about an information system which is correlating intelligently a huge volume of information on flooding, collected from a wide range of sources (sensors, social media and open data) and which it makes available to beneficiaries (citizens and public officers), on any kind of fixed or mobile device (tablets and smart phones, laptops and PCs).

The Flood-serv project considers the social impact as a key development factor. It is not limited to the development of “online communities”, but it also takes into account all the situations that peopleface in everyday life. The only viable and thorough solution against vulnerabilities, including the natural ones, such asflooding risks, consists in changing the people’s behavior. Therefore, the Flood-serv platform is based on content generated by citizens, mediating the connection between them and the responsible public authorities, through social networks and mobile technologies”, states Monica Florea, this project’s coordinator and manager of Research & Development Projects Department within SIVECO Romania.

The FLOOD-serv European platform will be implemented by 12 partners from 7 countries (Austria, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy and Belgium) within pilot projects in regions with a high flooding risk: in Italy (Genoa Municipality), Romania (Danube Delta region), Spain (Ayuntamiento de Bilbao), Slovakia (Bratislava region) and Portugal (Vila Nova de Famalicão region, near Porto). The platform FLOOD-serv will be implemented within the above mentioned regions following the actual scenarios involving in an active and participative manner both citizens and public authorities in the respective areas.

SIVECO Romania is the project coordinator at European level, and the project partners are as follows: cellent AG (Austria), ANSWARETECH S.L. (Spain), NGO Government To You (Gov2u) (Belgium), Municipality of Genoa (Italy), Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development Tulcea (Romania), Ayuntamiento de Bilbao (Spain), ANO, Sistemas de Software e Serviços, LDA (Portugal), Exdwarf consulting s.r.o. (Slovakia), Prefecture Institution of Tulcea County (Romania), Bratislavský samosprávny kraj (Bratislava Self-Governing Region) (Slovakia) and Municipality of city Vila Nova de Famalicão (Portugal).

The duration of the project is 36 months, during August 1st, 2016 - July 31st, 2019. 

We are extremely honored to coordinate a project of such importance and scale as FLOOD-serv project. Although we have participated over the past years in numerous European research projects in which we have been national coordinators, this is the first Horizon 2020 research project where we are fulfilling the coordination mission at European level. In fact, SIVECO is among the few IT companies in Romania holding so far such a responsibility. We consider this mission as an additional confirmation from the European Commission of our specialists’ value”, says Florian Ilia, President & CEO of SIVECO Romania.

The general functionalities of FLOOD-serv platform are:

  • Prognosis and warning - through collecting, processing, analysis and dissemination of information collected by citizens and its processing by using intelligent technologies
  • Stimulation of the citizens’ online communication and facilitating the collective decision making process by reducing the flooding risk with help of social networks
  • Raising awareness on crisis situations and coordinating the emergency actions.

The solution can be adjusted in order to be used also for other types of emergency situations, not just in case of flooding. Regarding the performance criteria, the information system supports the storing and processing a large data volume and is designed in order to have a real time response speed, during the critical events.