I recently attended the 2016 international conference of the British Hydrological Society, at Cranfield University. There were a number of broad themes, including flood risk and water resource management, with most of the first day being given over to presentations on the UK floods of December 2015 and January 2016. Topics included real time modelling, post flood modelling analysis and discussion of return periods, in particular whether it is plausible to have several floods of return period 100 year+ over a single decade, or whether in fact such clustering is part of the natural long term cycle.
The majority of presentations looked at the floods from the perspective of northern England, so my talk on the impacts in Scotland of the flooding from storms Desmond and Frank and the work of the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service, provided a different viewpoint. SEPA’s Nigel Goody (below), past president of BHS, also looked at the destruction wrought in Scotland, in particular on our hydrometric capabilities, providing a warning about the huge uncertainties involved in measuring these sorts of events.
The full programme of the conference can be found at this location.