Review of hydrological models and integrator systems for operational fluvial flood forecasting in Ireland

The Irish institutes Met Éireann and Office of Public Works (OPW) are currently engaged in the establishment of a National Flood Forecasting and Warnings Service (NFFWS) for fluvial and coastal floods. To support this task IMDC has reviewed, developed and trialled a range of hydrological models and integrator systems for operational use.

The study contains following stages: 

  • Comprehensive literature review of existing hydrological models
  • Comprehensive literature review of existing integrator systems. An integrator system combines a hydrological model with real-time observed and forecasted data, starts new simulations, facilitates the visualisation of model input and output, triggers alerts and disseminates information to relevant stakeholders
  • Model development for five representative catchments: Shannon, Barrow, Nore, Slaney and Moy & Killalla
  • Trialling of hydrological models for fluvial flood forecasting. Models are tested on five representative catchments
  • Trialling of integrator systems for fluvial flood forecasting, including a 2 month pre-operational test 

Based on the literature review three hydrological models and three integrator systems will be selected for further development and trialling on the five representative catchments. Each model is first calibrated and validated, and then tested both with historic data and with real-time forecast data from a number of meteorological data-sets. 

The target forecast accuracy is expressed in terms of advance warning time and flow magnitude. A model should predict the actual peak flow to within +/- 10% and 6 hours of the actual peak at the gauged forecast points, and with a lead time of greater than 24 hours.  

More details can be found on

Example of the Delft-FEWS user interface


  • Client: Met Éireann 
  • Start: 2018
  • Completion: 2019