The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), DHS’s research and development arm, has partnered with Deltares USA to create the Community Flood Resilience Support System (CFRSS), a flood-hazard modeling and impact assessment decision support tool that can be used for infrastructure planning.
The developers selected Charleston, South Carolina to serve as a testbed for their new tool, noting it has numerous flood-risk factors and allowed them to take advantage of existing research relationships, such as with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Other partners are expected to participate in the effort. A leading project goal is to bring in many stakeholders to participate and strengthen Charleston’s collaborations with other communities across the country. By sharing software, risk data and the program’s findings, CFRSS will help Charleston and other community stakeholders move forward with their larger resilience planning efforts. While Charleston is fortunate to have high-quality model input data, CFRSS is designed to allow user communities to leverage national open-data sources. Communities without site-specific or high-precision data can use general data from sources like NOAA to produce a risk assessment that is useful and insightful. Among its applications, CFRSS is intended to make it easy for users to explore the impact of a proposed infrastructure project against projected sea level rise, without needing to modify any model input. The project team will use the findings from the Charleston pilot to update the modeling software. It plans to promote the tool at an upcoming conference, where resource links will also be available to share. Read more at DHS S&T.