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1. FSU Programme - Introduction 
2. FSU Programme - Overview
3. Structure of the FSU Research


1. FSU Programme - Introduction 

The FSU Programme is a programme of research and development, undertaken by the Office of Public Works (OPW), to provide improved methods of extreme rainfall and flood estimation at both gauged and ungauged locations in the Republic of Ireland. It is a substantial update of a programme of study called the Flood Studies Report (FSR) (NERC, 1975), which was undertaken in the early 1970s by organisations in Ireland and the United Kingdom to provide methodologies for flood estimation in Ireland and the UK.  In the UK, the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) (Institute of Hydrology, 1999) has superseded the FSR as the main method of extreme rainfall and flood estimation.

The Joint Irish National Committee of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) passed a recommendation that a similar review and update of the FSR methodologies should be undertaken in Ireland.  In September 2004, the Irish Government approved the Report of the Flood Policy Review Group, which included a recommendation for an update of the FSR for Ireland. 

The FSU is being made available as a free-to-use web-based rainfall and flood estimation tool. Its use is of practical importance in the areas of flood risk management, flood mapping, and flood relief design work in the Republic of Ireland.  It will be used by the OPW, Local Authorities, and Private Sector Practitioners and will be continually applied and referred to by professionals working in the area of flood risk assessment and management in Ireland.

2. FSU Programme - Overview  

The FSU Web Portal facilitates the estimation of flood flows, extreme rainfall depths, and other hydrological variables, for thousands of river locations in the Republic of Ireland. These locations have been identified by placing node-points at 500m centres along the entire Irish river network (blueline river network).

The FSU Web Portal allows users to estimate (a) extreme rainfall depths, (b) peak flood-flow rates, and (c) flood-flow hydrographs (time-series of flow), using a series of algorithms and node-specific parameters.  There are approximately 134,000 such nodes on the blueline river network, and node-specific parameters for each of these have been pre-calculated (known as “physical catchment descriptors”).  While almost 30 physical catchment descriptors have been developed for each node point, the current FSU methodologies use 10 of these.
The FSU Web Portal allows users to use a geospatial/GIS-based search tool to find their location(s) of interest, to view the spatial characteristics of the contributing catchment area, and to view background mapping.  

3. Structure of the FSU Research   

The research work to develop improved methodologies for rainfall and flood estimation in Ireland was broken up into a series of six themed Work Groups (WGs) and these were further sub-divided into Work Packages (WPs) as shown in Table 1 below.

 Work Group 1 - Meteorological Analysis
 WP1.1  Meteorological Data Preparation
 WP1.2  Rainfall Depth-Duration-Frequency Analysis



 Work Group 2 - Hydrological Analysis
 WP2.1  Hydrological Data Preparation
 WP2.2  Flood Frequency Analysis
 WP2.3  Determination of the Index Flood (QMED) at Ungauged




 Work Group 3 - Flood Hydrograph Analysis
 WP3.1  Hydrograph Width Analysis
 WP3.2  Flood Event Analysis
 WP3.3  Floodplain Attenuation Analysis
 WP3.4  FSU Guidance on Inputs to River Basin Modelling
 WP3.5  Interactive Bridge Invoking the Design Event Method




 Work Group 4 - Urban Catchment Flood Analysis
 WP4.1  Scoping Study of Urban Flood Issues
 WP4.2  Flood Estimation for Urbanised and Small Catchments
 WP4.3  Effects of Urbanisation at Catchment Scale




 Work Group 5 - Development of Information Systems
 WP5.1  Scoping Study of Information Systems
 WP5.2  Base Flow Index from Soils Data (BFIsoil) –
 Physical Catchment Descriptor
 WP5.3  Preparation of Physical Catchment Descriptors





 Work Group 6 - Dissemination & Publication of FSU Products
 WP6.1  Alpha Testing of the FSU methodologies
 WP6.2  Development of a Web-based Applications Portal
 for the FSU
 WP6.3  Data Cleansing
 WP6.4  Technical Documentation
 WP6.5  Beta Testing by Practitioners




Table 1. Constituent Work Groups and Work Packages within the FSU Research and Development Programme

The full list of Research Reports are available for download from the FSU Web Portal Documents Page

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