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Dutch Flood Early warning system for Bolivia

RoyalHaskoningDHV is helping to set up an early warning system for the Mamoré River in Bolivia. This is necessary because the river, a major tributary of the Amazon, floods annually causing considerable damage, especially to cattle ranches and villages in the area. The early warning system will warn inhabitants of any flood danger and give them time to take measures to limit damage.

The early warning system is part of the ‘Vivir con el Agua’ (living with water) program which aims to limit the effects of flooding in Bolivia. The Bolivian Vice-Ministry for Water Management and the Dutch Embassy initiated the program together.

The project in Bolivia is being carried out by the consortium Witteveen+Bos (secretary), Royal HaskoningDHV, Deltares as well as Centro Agua Bolivia. The system will become operational in the course of 2014. The Dutch consortium is supplying the necessary expertise which includes on-the-job training of Bolivian as well as giving some courses in Bolivia.

Hydrological models are being developed for this early warning system and integrated into the FEWS (Flood Early Warning System) platform. The system is being set up in close collaboration with employees at the Bolivian National Meteorological Service and the Operational Emergency Center that reacts whenever there is an emergency or a catastrophe in the Beni region through which the Mamoré River flows. A large number of other institutes are also actively involved, having a direct or indirect role in prediction and early warning.