With environmental monitoring and protection at the heart of our business, Skyview is honoured to have been selected to partner the Environment Agency on their ground-breaking nationwide flood prevention project. The agreement was signed following a competitive tender process, whereby Skyview demonstrated superior performance of our instrumentation and services, honed over 30 years in the weather monitoring industry. The long-term partnership enables the Environment Agency to benefit from enhanced flood warning and forecasting services to better protect some 300,000 homes from the devastating effects of flooding seen across the UK to date.
Established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment, the Environment Agency is responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea across the UK.
The Environment Agency operates a network of around 1000 automatic rain gauges for the purposes of providing flood warnings, flood forecasting and assessing the water resource situation for England.
In September 2020, the EA announced the successful passing of its flood prevention strategy in Parliament. Originally set out in 2011, the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England has seen significant progress. Risk Management Authorities (RMAs), along with local partners, have invested £2.6 billion of government funding in flood and coastal erosion risk management between 2015 and 2021.
The strategy has 3 long-term ambitions:
· Climate resilient places: working with partners to bolster resilience to flooding and coastal change across the nation, both now and in the face of climate change.
· Today’s growth and infrastructure resilient in tomorrow’s climate: making the right investment and planning decisions to secure sustainable growth and environmental improvements, as well as in frastructure resilient to flooding and coastal change.
· A nation ready to respond and adapt to flooding and coastal change: ensuring local people understand their risk to flooding and coastal change, and know their responsibilities and how to take action.
The project aims to have “a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change –today, tomorrow and to the year 2100”.
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 places a statutory duty on the Environment Agency to develop a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England. This strategy describes what needs to be done by all RMAs involved in flood and coastal erosion risk management. This includes:
· the Environment Agency;
· lead local flood authorities;
· district councils;
· internal drainage boards;
· highways authorities; and
· water and sewerage companies.
This strategy seeks to better manage the risks and consequences of flooding from rivers; the sea; groundwater; reservoirs; ordinary watercourses; surface water; sewers and coastal erosion, to better protect properties and reduce the impacts of flooding on lives and livelihoods
As part of the project, the Environment Agency requires the supply and installation of automatic rain gauges that measure precise precipitation by weighing the accumulated rainfall in all weather conditions, including ice and snow. It was clear that the less precise traditional tipping bucket method of measurement would be unsuitable for the requirements, and with over 200 units to roll out, the equipment needed to be easy to transport and install.
This successful contract award will see Skyview roll out a network of automatic Rain(e) rain gauges to measure rainfall nationally.
In contrast to the less precise traditional tipping bucket techniques, the Rain(e) measures rainfall by collecting precipitation and weighing the collected liquid with a highly accurate load cell.
The unique self-emptying collection system enables every drop of rain to be measured with the high resolution of 0.001 mm/m2. The sophisticated heated version of the Rain[e] negates the need for antifreeze fluid, making it an environmentally friendly option.
The weather-proof, all-metal housing ensures year-round durability and the small packing volume and low weight ensures minimum logistical effort when transporting the unit to site.
Compatible with the data loggers already in place, the Rain[e] is ideal for expanding rainfall measurement networks, such as this one. The Flood Prevention Team can access accurate real-time flood warning data, produce management reports and analyse historical, current and future rainfall trends to protect future generations and communities for years to come.
"We are working with Skyview who distribute the Rain[e] rainfall gauges that we are installing across the country to support our suite of new monitoring and forecasting tools. The Rain[e] gauge offers us a high level of accuracy in measuring rainfall intensity and accumulation by weighing the quantity of rain received at the gauge. This allows us to set thresholds which trigger an alarm when certain amounts of rain are recorded.
Rain[e] provides a sophisticated solution to monitor rainfall in the communities that we are setting up new services in, because they are mostly located in steep and fast responding river catchments. These communities are prone to flash flooding from heavy rain, so we need to be able to distinguish intense storms from lighter rain to issue accurate and timely flood warnings”.
Mike Darkin, Technical Advisor (Hydrometry) to Flood Warning Expansion Project