Creating a High Resolution Hydraulic Model

Project Title: Creating a High Resolution Hydraulic Model for simulating and forecasting floods in the Wabash River Basin

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Venkatesh Merwade, Purdue University, Lyles School of Civil Engineering

Dates: June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020

Total Federal Funds:  Total Non-Federal Funds:

Project Reports
Project Factsheet

Indiana experiences major floods in different parts of the state almost every year from both excessive rain and rapid snowmelt. From February to April 2018, more than 20 counties in Indiana experienced extreme flooding, and were declared disaster areas by the Governor’s office. Information related to rainfall and streamflow, two pieces of information critical for predicting floods, is not available for many areas in the state. Additionally, most flood inundation maps, created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are static maps that cannot tell much about potential flood inundation during high storm events. Thus there is a critical need to create dynamic flood inundation information for most areas in Indiana during high storm events. To address this need, this proposal aims to create a hyper-resolution hydrologic model to provide street level flood information and inundation for all the areas within the Wabash River Basin. By leveraging past and other ongoing modeling efforts in Minnesota and Texas, this proposal will create a hydrologic model that will provide hydrologic fluxes for any area in the Wabash River Basin, which covers around 65% of the State of Indiana. As a prototype, a sub-set of this model will be executed in near real-time for the city of Indianapolis by using meteorological forecasts from the Ohio River Forecast Center and the National Water Model. Model results will be disseminated through WaterHUB for use by flood managers, researchers and other decision makers. We will also work with Indiana Silver Jackets and other agencies in Indiana to operationalize this modeling system for long-term sustainability beyond the project duration. This project will support, and provide training to one PhD student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University.