A hydrological modelling toolkit to enhance flood management and infrastructure decisions in Gwynedd County, Wales- MRes Scholarship


A hydrological modelling toolkit to enhance flood management and infrastructure decisions in Gwynedd County, Wales

Bangor University, School of Natural Sciences

Project ID: BUK2188

Annual Stipend: £11,586

Application Deadline: 1st February 2020

Flood risk mitigation is a major societal challenge and will be increasingly important in the future due to climate change threats. Flooding often causes significant economic damage to the affected communities. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) estimated that, between 2011 and 2014, flooding in Wales cost about £71 million. Flood risk is clearly a national concern and protecting and improving the water environment is the principal aim of the European Union Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) and Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG) National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales. Managing the risks of flooding locally is crucial to creating safer and more resilient communities, and this is where Local Authorities play a very important role.

Gwynedd County Council (GCC) is the Local Flood Lead Authority in Gwynedd County and its statutory role in this capacity is fulfilled by Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy (YGC). Typical solutions implemented by YGC for flood risk alleviation have been to increase river or culvert capacity, upgrade surface water systems or implement property level resilience (PLR) measures. However, the long-term effectiveness of these solutions is unclear as they have been implemented without considering the river catchment’s hydrological behaviour. Moving forward, YGC seeks to develop a new approach to developing flood alleviation schemes on a river catchment basis, as opposed to focusing on small and isolated communities. A major knowledge gap in this regard is the relatively poor understanding of the hydrological behaviour of small catchments within Gwynedd.

This project will employ a computer-based modelling approach to develop a hydrological toolkit for enhanced decision making. Specifically, this toolkit will enable YGC to: (1) perform multi-scenario assessment of catchment conditions, including climate and land use change, for flood management and infrastructure decisions, and (2) quantify the impact of climate change uncertainty over the next 80 to 100 years on catchment flood response in Gwynedd. The work to be carried out in this project directly addresses YGC’s priority of developing a streamlined hydrological modelling workflow that can eventually be integrated with external models, e.g., flood inundation mapping tools, to form an effective decision support system.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a good 2:1 in a relevant degree and be available to take up the studentship by April 2020. Previous experience in using hydrological

modelling and GIS software is highly desirable. A requirement of the studentship is a 30-day placement with the partner company (YGC), during the period of the project.

Expected start date: 01/04/2020

Supervisors: Dr Sopan Patil, Bangor University (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk), Mr Robert Williams (Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy), and Dr Prysor Williams (Bangor University).

Interested applicants who wish to discuss the role further can contact Dr Sopan Patil via email (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk).

To apply for this fully funded post, please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) to s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 1st February 2020.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.