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FloodRSS: Flood Resilience Support System for Participatory Community Action
YEAR: 2023
INVESTIGATORS: Ibrahim Demir, Marian Muste

Floods impact 2.2 billion people globally, and their occurrence displays an alarming increase
compared to other natural disasters. The State of Iowa follows this ascending trend, with flood-
presidential disaster declarations occurring almost every other year for the last 30 years. The
ever-growing flood threats continue to be tackled with piece-meal, sectoral mitigation
approaches that are trickled down to communities through top-down, limited-efficiency solutions
that disproportionally affect the socially vulnerable populations in rural and urban communities.
While considerable scientific and technological progress is increasingly available for many flood
mitigation efforts, their on-the-ground impacts are impeded, among other causes, by the limited
availability of tools to rapidly turn the expanding data into accessible and actionable knowledge
for flood mitigation. Changing the current situation requires a “system of systems” (SoS)
approach whereby the underlying hydrologic processes leading to floods are closely linked with
the watershed-level socio-economic functions through efficient collaboration tools to ensure
community involvement in the co-production of the mitigation plans with attention to socio-
environmental justice principles. Currently, there is no unified vision on the architecture,
components, and technologies for a generic flood mitigation and resilience support system.
The aim of the proposed research is to develop a prototype web-based mitigation platform,
Flood Resilience Support System (FloodRSS), for participatory community action where the
multi-disciplinary legacy datasets and incoming data streams are organized, stored, and analyzed
as a “big-data” case driven by emerging concepts in flood vulnerability and resilience. Our
proposal responds to the priority on “water related hazard and society” by linking flood
underlying hydrologic processes with socio-economic aspects within a generic and modular
cyberinfrastructure that can be iteratively enhanced with new developments as they occur.