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  • Over the past few decades, the number of people exposed to flood risk has been growing globally due to the increase in population living in flood-prone areas (link), an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events (link), and the effects of urbanization on hydrological processes (e.g. link).

  • The impact on human’s mental and physical health is significant; from loss of life to the introduction of water-borne illnesses, flooding brings devastating displacement to communities and cuts off critical basic services. Often these disproportionally affect socio-economically marginalized communities, with over 91% of deaths in UN defined “developing” countries (link). 

  • The economic losses from floods are difficult to comprehend: in 2022 alone EM-DAT estimated that global losses from floods were $57 billion (for only the largest 176 floods), and could increase to $5.6 trillion by 2050 (link). Sectors impacted most are agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, energy and retail. 



Floods are more often than not, a surprise. They are sometimes avoidable, sometimes controlled, and it is our actions as a society across many sectors that make the difference between prevented, managed, or devastating. Through the perspective of the nexus approach, we acknowledge that floods are not natural disasters, but are a result of human activities and decisions, and thus open up conversations across groups on how to problem solve [link]. The nexus approach recognizes that floods extend beyond the scope of a single sector when it comes to characterizing, mitigating, and managing them. It acknowledges that floods are events that require human planning, given that our development has increased their frequency and occurrence in areas where they would not naturally happen. Experiencing a flood and the aftermath can be deeply personal. As we experience them on individual, community, and societal levels, the memory of the flood event itself can be traumatic and affect people’s livelihoods especially through relocation. With sea level rise and more intense storms, we are in need of better systems to alert, measure and predict when and where flood risks may occur. It takes a village as they say, with government and industry’s help, across construction, environmental and human health, business, and the scientific community’s cooperation.



GloFAS is a set of global products to aid emergency management services in weather and flood events. The forecasts and monitoring platform can be accessed with a free login account through their data portal. Flood forecasting products are also available at a continental scale e.g. through the European Flood Awareness System.


GEOGloWS ECMWF Streamflow by the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Utilizes meteorological data products from ECMWF, GEOGloWS generates a 40-year historic simulation by leveraging ERA-5 reanalysis precipitation. Additionally, it provides a 15-day ensemble forecast with 51 members and a 10-day high-resolution forecast. GEOGloWS uses the routing application for parallel computation of discharge (RAPID) model to route inputs through the vector-based river networks. It employs historical simulations to establish return periods, which then serve as the thresholds for issuing flood alerts. The system triggers a flood alert when the short-term forecast GEOGloWS provides streamflow forecasts and a web mapping service hosted by ESRI. 


Google Flood Hub for Governments and Organizations

It is a visual, easy-to-use resource that displays local riverine flood maps and water trends and gives real-time flood forecasts and alerts based on Google's AI models and global data sources


The Global Flood Database v1

The Global Flood Database v1, created by Cloud to Street and the Dartmouth Flood Observatory, offers a historical archive of flood extents encompassing 913 flood events occurring between 2000 and 2018. This database relies on satellite imagery to categorize and document these flood events. It's noteworthy that this database is available for free via Google Earth Engine, making it accessible for researchers, policymakers, and organizations to analyze and better understand flood events and their impacts over this substantial time frame.


Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS)

The Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) is a collaborative effort led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and involves several entities. This system provides valuable resources in the form of libraries and forums with educational materials and opportunities for individuals and organizations interested in developing flood awareness systems. It's notable that these resources are available for free through the FFGS portal, aiming to support and facilitate the development of flood awareness and monitoring systems, ultimately helping communities better prepare for and respond to flash flood events.


Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS)

The Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS), operated by the University of Maryland, offers real-time flood monitoring capabilities through a publicly available website. This system provides critical information, including flood detection, streamflow data, surface water storage, and inundation variables. By offering up-to-date and accessible flood-related information, GFMS plays a vital role in helping communities and authorities track and respond to flooding events, ultimately contributing to flood risk management and disaster preparedness efforts worldwide.


Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) and Hydraulic Property Table for United States (CONUS)

The Continental Flood Inundation Mapping (CFIM) framework uses high-performance computing to create inundation maps based on the 'Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND)' method. These maps are generated using elevation and hydrography data and assist in calculating river geometry properties and flood inundation predictions. The data is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license for research purposes, and it is advised not to use it for emergency management or legal decisions.


Central water commission–flood advisory forecast

The Central Water Commission (CWC) in India provides "flood advisory forecasts" as a part of its responsibilities. These forecasts are issued to predict and provide information about potential flooding events in various regions of India. The CWC uses hydrological data, river water level measurements, weather forecasts, and other relevant information to make these predictions.


World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) ‘ThinkHazard’ tool

The "World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) ThinkHazard tool" is a tool or resource provided by the World Bank's GFDRR. This tool is designed to help individuals and organizations assess and understand the potential hazard risks in a particular geographic area. It provides valuable information and data for disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts.


World Resources Institute Water Risk Atlas

The "World Resources Institute Water Risk Atlas" is a tool or platform developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to provide information and data on water-related risks. It offers a comprehensive view of water-related issues, such as water stress, scarcity, quality, and flooding, across various regions and countries. This tool helps stakeholders, including governments, businesses, and organizations, to assess and address water-related challenges and make informed decisions regarding water resource management and sustainability.


Copernicus Emergency Management Service - Mapping

The "Copernicus Emergency Management Service - Mapping" is a service provided by the European Union's Copernicus program. It offers mapping and geospatial information in the context of emergency management and disaster response. This service uses satellite and Earth observation data to provide timely and accurate maps and geospatial information to support various emergency situations, including natural disasters and humanitarian crises. 


NASA/CNES/CSA/UKSA Surface Water Ocean Topography satellite mission

The "NASA/CNES/CSA/UKSA Surface Water Ocean Topography satellite mission" is a collaborative satellite mission involving multiple space agencies, including NASA (United States), CNES (French space agency), CSA (Canadian Space Agency), and UKSA (United Kingdom Space Agency). This mission is dedicated to observing and measuring surface water and ocean topography, with a focus on understanding ocean currents, sea level variations, and other related phenomena. 


Global Flood Monitor

Global database of historic and real-time flood events based on social media (no longer updated as X increased costs for using data). For details on methodology see Bruijn et al. 2019 [link].


Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE

Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE is a Digital catalogue of events and damage (also includes floods). Database for analysing and evaluating losses caused by natural disasters. Unfortunately not open access.


The global streamflow indices and metadata archive (GSIM)

The global streamflow indices and metadata archive (GSIM) Includes floods for 30000 catchments worldwide. For details see Gudmundsson et al. 2018 [link]. 


Global river flood hazard

Global river flood hazard refers to the assessment of potential flood risks across worldwide river systems. This includes determining river discharge quantiles at various sections of rivers globally. This information is available through the World Bank Group's dataset,



NASA LANCE. Near real time data useful for identifying, tracking and mapping floodwater extent for active floods. Data can be visualized through NASA worldview [link


Flood hazard map of the world

Flood hazard map of the world (100-year return period)" is a mapping or depiction of areas prone to flooding with an estimated return period of 100 years, created or associated with Dottori et al. This map may indicate areas at risk of flooding based on their history and certain estimations.


Global Runoff Data Center

Global Runoff Data Center Provides daily streamflow data for 10000 catchments from 159 countries. Does not provide information on floods directly but is very useful for flood studies at a global scale. 


Caravan dataset: a global community dataset for large-sample hydrology

The caravan dataset is a global community dataset for large-sample hydrology. Based on different national CAMELS datasets. Contains data on streamflow, meteorological forcing, and catchment attributes for ca. 7000 catchments worldwide. 

Get to Know AID Members

You can consult with the AID group leader or any members for your regional, national, and global datasets, tools, and analytics projects and questions.


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