Duminda Perera, Ousmane Seidou, Jetal Agnihotri, Hamid Mehmood and Mohamed Rasmy (June 22nd 2020). Challenges and Technical Advances in Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWSs) [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93069.
Flood early warning systems (FEWSs)—one of the most common flood-impact mitigation measures—are currently in operation globally. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) strongly advocates for an increase in their availability to reach the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Comprehensive FEWS consists of four components, which includes (1) risk knowledge, (2) monitoring and forecasting, (3) warning, dissemination, and communication, and (4) response capabilities. Operational FEWSs have varying levels of complexity, depending on available data, adopted technology, and know-how. There are apparent differences in sophistication between FEWSs in developed countries that have the financial capabilities, technological infrastructure, and human resources and developing countries where FEWSs tend to be less advanced. Fortunately, recent advances in remote sensing, artificial intelligence (AI), information technologies, and social media are leading to significant changes in the mechanisms of FEWSs and provide the opportunity for all FEWSs to gain additional capability. These technologies are an opportunity for developing countries to overcome the technical limitations that FEWSs have faced so far. This chapter aims to discuss the challenges in FEWSs in brief and exposes technological advances and their benefits in flood forecasting and disaster mitigation.