The average annual costs from flood damage have increased dramatically over the past half-century, from $1.5 billion in 1950 to $4 billion today. Between 1995 and 1999 alone, flood damages topped $40 billion. Sound flood mitigation planning and watershed management are key to preventing loss of life and property caused by flooding.

DHI Water & Environment and PBS&J have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to develop and promote the technological tools and expertise for flood modeling and watershed management. The team will work on integrating DHI's state-of-the-art flood modeling technologies with PBS&J's Watershed Analyst, a powerful GIS framework.

In the first phase of the collaboration, DHI and PBS&J have worked together to integrate the MIKE 11 model, DHI's leading river hydraulics and hydrology modeling software, into PBS&J's Watershed Analyst package. This step allows users of Watershed Analyst to easily transform their raw data, stored in Watershed Analyst, into the data files required to run a hydraulics and hydrology model using the advanced simulation capabilities of MIKE 11.

In the second phase, DHI will help to commercialize Watershed Analyst and DFIRM Tools 2 and make these advanced tools commercially available to flood managers and consultants. This will accomplish two goals: put better tools in the hands of the people who need them, and get feedback from as many people as possible in order to continue to develop and improve these tools. This phase is currently under way, with the first release of the Watershed Analyst and DFIRM Tools 2 set for December 2004.

The third phase of the collaborative focuses on joint development and maintenance of these tools, with contributions of requirements, design specifications, and software components from both PBS&J and DHI.

Source: PBS&J, Nov. 2, 2004