Use of satellite imagery to reduce the risks of flooding in the Ourthe river valley

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Context and objectives

The repeated floodings in the valley of the Ourthe necessitate the management of the watershed areas. The construction of retention basins does not seem to satisfy everyone. It is thus necessary to turn to less draconian solutions for the environment. The site of the power station of Coo has a significant potential in the possibility of storing part of water of the Amblève during floods without major modifications of the environment. It seems significant to study this possibility in order to attenuate the risks of floods and help decision makers.
The object of this study is to show the possibilities of using remote sensing in a mathematical model simulating the relationship between rainfall and runoff in the Amblève river in order to study the effects of different management and to prevent flooding.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

The application of such a tool allows to simulate and quantify the effects of any project at Coo on flood discharges in the Ambleve and Ourthe valleys.
The developed approach seems promising and provides already good results. The hydrological model could however clearly be improved in a later phase by holding in better account the flood routing phenomena.
Moreover, it appears clearly that the hydrological model which was presented in this study could be easily applied to other basins. The approach could be extended in order to be able to apply the model to any basin of the Région Wallonne.

This approach could highly interest the managers of hydrological basins and the decision-makers (Région Wallonne - General Direction of the Natural resources and Environment DGRNE - Ministry for the Equipment and Transport MET).
Project leader(s): ULg - Laboratoire d Hydrographie et de Géomorphologie Fluviatile
Location: Region:
  • Hydrographic basins of the Ourthe and Amblève Rivers

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