Why monitoring is important
While some areas are more prone to flooding than others, having a hydrological warning system in the vicinity of any major waterway or body of water provides vital information that can protect property and save lives. Of course, the most effective methods of flood warning go beyond installing water gauges and telemetry equipment to include qualified personnel and well-designed procedures to give early warning of if, when, and how severe flooding should occur.
In the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Weather Service—part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—work together to maintain the nation's hydrological warning system. Specifically, the U.S. Geological Survey is the primary source of surface and groundwater data, operating more than 85 percent of river monitoring stations in the United States. Use these and other sources of data to issue river forecasts and flood warnings.
Flood warnings are issued when conditions indicate that flooding may occur, or when flooding is expected within 12-48 hours. Flood warnings are more severe and are issued if widespread flooding is expected, or if flooding is imminent or occurring. Flash flood watches and warnings follow the same protocol but indicate the possibility of particularly rapid flooding, usually due to heavy rain or a dam failure. Flood declarations are issued when flooding is expected for major rivers where people and property are not threatened. They may also be issued as updates to previous warnings and watch alerts.
In communities that lack flood warning programs but are interested in developing their own, JXCT can provide further guidance and technical support, as well as outreach and education to interested parties and community leaders. Flood warning systems need not be expensive or overly complicated, and the benefits of protecting life and property far outweigh any potential complications or inconvenience. When installing and maintaining gages, sensors and other equipment, JXCT can help you every step of the way.
Real-time solution for hydrological early warning system
An effective hydrological early warning system should be based on regular collection of local rainfall, river level and runoff data. This can be done through routine monitoring. Operators have access to flowmeters and precipitation measuring points. But real-time monitoring systems with telemetry capabilities can make data collection easier. In many cases, it is more cost effective. It also allows for the fastest response to flood events. JXCT admits that even in areas covered by their flood warnings. Real-time, community-oriented flood warning systems can also reduce flood-related risks.