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Advances in Hydroinformatics

Photo taken by Andy Evans while in Japan

Project Overview

Further Information

This EPSRC-funded project aims to bring together researchers in the UK and Japan to exchange expertise in the area of hydroinformatics, which has much to offer applications that promote sustainability of the urban water system, a key challenge facing water engineers.

Hydroinformatics involves the application of data-driven methods, fuzzy logic and risk-based analysis to solving key problems in an applied water domain. These include flood defence and protection, urban drainage, water quality deterioration, groundwater protection and the potential effects of land use and climate change on the water system.

Project Objectives

Project Team

Programme of Visits

Workshop Programme

Ongoing Collaborations


Physical models have their limitations because many of these processes are complex and difficult to represent. Understanding of the system is also far from complete. This is further illustrated by the fact that physically-based flood prediction models are currently not accurate enough for operational use in the UK. Data-driven methods, which involve building applications from historical data and expert knowledge offer an alternative approach to traditional physical-based models.

Data-driven methods include artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic, evolutionary computation, pattern recognition techniques, machine learning and inductive methods that have arisen from artificial intelligence, statistics and other computational fields. It is also possible to combine data-driven approaches with physical models, which extends the opportunities for developing improved operational models in an approach referred to as hybrid modelling.

There is now a growing body of evidence that data-driven models and risk analysis are being used increasingly in a range of application areas such as flood prediction, groundwater modelling and remediation, irrigation, water quality prediction and other civil engineering applications such as transportation, construction management, etc.

It is, therefore, an appropriate time for exchanging international expertise on the application of state-of-the-art methods in hydroinformatics. Researchers in the UK Hydroinformatics Group (Exeter, Leeds, Loughborough and Nottingham) and the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Kyoto in Japan are keen to forge a new collaboration. A visit to the institute in Japan by UK researchers will allow rich collaborative links to develop between these two strong research groups. The exchange will also encourage interaction with researchers across Japan through a jointly organised workshop. Sharing experiences, methods and data in this way provides a valuable opportunity to advance the current knowledge in this area.

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