Taking the pain out of Natural Flood Management Monitoring

Friday, April 26, 2019

The development of a new ‘in field’ App dramatically improves efficiency and provides consistent data recording.

Monitoring of interventions can be a time consuming and inefficient process. Having spent thirteen years working as a Hydrologist in the water industry, I looked for a digital solution that might help – I found nothing. The only response – to develop my own Natural Flood Management (NFM) App.

The end product is an efficient and cost-effective way of recording data, that is designed to give high-quality outcomes. Available through a subscription portal the NFM App provides a real step forward for field professionals and the organisations they work for or report to.

You might be the Project Officer of a Natural Flood Management scheme, a Flood Management Consultant, an Action Group, or a University PHD student. In any event you are likely to be involved with implementing NFM within your catchments.

In many cases NFM interventions are being recorded simply as marks on an OS map, or as a list of grid reference coordinates in a spreadsheet. Logical, you might think – but how do you then digitally map hundreds of interventions in a GIS system. How do you find the interventions again? Interventions are often discreet – sometimes not obviously observable to someone in the field revisiting them. My own experience posed a question – how do you share NFM locations and relevant data with other project partners, as well as record significant changes over time.

The objective for the finished app was not only to slimline the data collection process and increase efficiency, but also to provide a tool that gave an end of day deliverable for the client. A driving motivation was the desire to do away with the need for linking different data from a variety of sources, be they photo/map or spreadsheet.

The result is the NFM App - it allows the data collector to produce not simply a collated record – but an end product, following a day in the field, in the form of a pdf, kml, or csv file.

Lat/Long location, photos, maps, field notes and intervention dimensions, are now capable of being stored and disseminated by the App user in and from a single product.

Usefully, the App also offers a standard recording method for all interventions.

This allows simple community monitoring as time passes – evaluating change and recording it in a consistent format. It removes ambiguity and individual interpretation – allowing an effective asset database to be developed for any catchment, anywhere in the country.

The NFM App complete with output capability costs just £300 per annum and is available through a subscription portal: www.naturalfloodmanagementapp.com.

You can download the App without output capability for free in iTunes – simply search for NFM App from your iPad.

If you would like to know more about how the App works, its key benefits and how it might assist your project, then please contact Katherine Teakle at katherine@katherinecolby.com.


Add new comment