STOCKHOLM, August 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
One of the fastest growing public safety and security solutions organisations in the world, AGT International, has called on global governments to make flood management a priority in order to protect lives and water security.
Speaking at the World Water Week in Stockholm, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje, Head of AGT International in the Netherlands and AGT International's lead on solutions for water and flood management, emphasized that it can take just "one major flood to wash away significant parts of a country's economic, political and cultural security". Van Oranje voiced his concerns during a speech revealing the latest innovative technology that predicts, prevents and manages floods; including sensor networks that allow authorities to monitor and predict water flow and dike movements.
Van Oranje said the need for such technology was clear, highlighting the increase in deadly flood related disasters: "In the past five years, flooding has caused over 32,000 deaths and cost the global economy an estimated $171.7bn in economic and agriculture damages. As a result of changing climate patterns, rising sea levels and trends such as mass urbanisation, this problem is only likely to be exacerbated without applying innovative technologies for water management."
As AGT International shows at the Stockholm conference, the damage wrought by recent floods in Asia and Australia exemplify what can happen if government agencies and water authorities are not able to improve their preparatory activities. Existing preparations rely primarily on historical data for seasonal rainfall, wind and tidal information, resulting in incomplete or often incorrect parameters for decision-making. These indices include current water levels, run-off predictions and retention capacities, flood maps, and the structural integrity of flood defences. This has, in turn, led to inaccurate predictions of where and when flooding may be expected. Without accurate information, the ability of decision makers to predict, prepare and manage flooding and evacuation, and ultimately, to save lives, continues to be severely hindered.
AGT International began work in this field in the Netherlands in 2009, delivering projects to enhance the regular dike inspection protocols. Using a network of high tech embedded sensors to measure and act on water pressure, dike body movement and temperature changes, this work led to the prediction of dike failures up to two days earlier than before, while delivering greater accuracy in fault site location.
Similar sensor-based solutions are now being successfully rolled out by AGT International in the Yellow River in China, in a project with Province of Utrecht, a regional Water Board and the Ministry of Water Management in the Netherlands, in Thailand, and in Bangladesh. The intelligent technology systems save lives and livelihoods by providing authorities with real time information, routing recommendations for evacuation and simulation to enable them to better prepare their emergency response to flooding.
AGT International plays a key role globally in helping to provide innovative technology that saves lives. While leaders throughout history have grappled with flood prediction and management, today's decision makers have access to technological innovations that can help prevent future disasters.
About AGT International
Founded in 2007, AGT International's solutions safeguard people, assets and infrastructure for public safety authorities, governments and corporations around the globe. Its advanced analytics and hierarchical command and control centre integrate and identify relevant patterns to alert decision makers to potential threats for any given scenario as it unfolds. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the organization employs 2,400 people globally, representing more than 50 nationalities. AGT International is privately held and led by Founder and CEO, Mati Kochavi. For more information, please visit http://www.agtinternational.com.
At the World Water Week in Stockholm
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SOURCE AGT International