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INRS develops a new flood risk analysis and management tool

May 11, 2016 | Gisèle Bolduc

Update : November 18, 2020

At a time when the number of major floods is constantly rising, no operational flood risk analysis or cartography tool has been available to assist with flood management. This is something that the team of Professors Karem Chokmani and Monique Bernier of INRS’s Eau Terre Environment Centre is about to change through the development of GARI, a new flood risk analysis and management tool. 

Carried out in collaboration with the Quebec and Canadian government partners, the project comes with nearly $1 million in funding over three years—$900,000 from the Canadian Safety and Security Program led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada. GARI will have significant implications for civil security by enabling more effective intervention before and during flooding.

The tool, a geographical information system (GIS) application, will consist of operational cartography and characterization modules for visualizing and analyzing flood risk in preparatory and operational mode. GARI will provide detailed real-time access to information about: 

  • flood risk
  • the actual situation
  • the extent of real and potential damage to populations, buildings and infrastructure

Tying in with the work underway at INRS on the dynamic cartography of flood risk in urban zones, the project will provide first-rate decision-making support for municipal and government bodies in flood risk prevention, preparation and intervention.

“GARI will make it possible to improve evacuation operations as well as physical infrastructure protection and monitoring when flooding occurs.”

Professor Chokmani

This tool, which will help communities better prepare for emergency situations, will undergo initial testing and validation in the municipality of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It will then be rolled out for use in other basins in Canada at risk for flooding. 

GARI project partners: Roles

Professor Chokmani’s team, which boasts recognized expertise in operational GIS tool development, hydrology and remote sensing, will work closely with: