ITU Telecom World Young Innovators
Enhanced Flood Disaster Response Capability:
developing high resolution remote sensing
technology into an advanced knowledge
management system to monitor, assess and plan
emergency responses to during flood disasters
Every year Kazakhstan experiences hundreds of natural disasters ranging from earthquakes
to mudslides and flooding affecting thousands of people including a death toll of 100s every
year. Many of these are preventable if risk assessments are used to better predict flood
events and influence the planning and activities in river basins. They would also be
preventable if better information was available prior to natural disasters for planning of
emergency preparedness and during disasters for leading disaster recovery events.
Remote sensing technology is increasingly used for water resource monitoring and
assessments during flood disasters and river flooding as it provides unique methods and
solutions to meet the information requirements of water engineers responsible for water
resources management. This project aims to advance the application of Remote Sensing in
the context of flood disaster management by integrating high resolution remote sensing
technology into a map-based Knowledge Management System (KMS) that provides
valuable information to decision makers, disaster recovery teams and the public. The
system uses satellite and meteorological data to enable risk and impact assessments.
During disasters, it is capable to use geo-spatial imagery from unmanned aviation vehicles
(UAV) to provide real time information for emergency response planning,
This geo-spatial platform is used as an early warning system for experts to predict and plan
for emergencies including the assessment of emergency impacts, the planning of
evacuations and the movement of tactical response units. The platform also enables the
sending of alert messages to mobile phone users within risk areas and the coordination and
monitoring of tactical response units via GPS.
Kazakhstan is located in the center of the Eurasian continent and enters into ten greatest on the
area of the countries of the world. Its area is 2,7 million square kilometers.
In Kazakhstan there is a great number of the rivers. Mainly they have the average and small size.
The largest rivers are Irtysh, Ural, Tobol, Ishim, Syrdarya and Ili. During spring thawing snow the
volume of flow of these rivers sharply increases, sometimes more than 1000 times. They can
overflow banks and flood large territories.
Thus, development of technologies of space monitoring of water objects is in interests of regional
emergency departments for modeling of potential extreme situations (flood, break of dams,
washout of coast, etc.) by using remote sensing data .
Figure 1. Main regions of Kazakhstan with high risk of flooding
• It is crucial to integrate local knowledge, GIS and maps into the
process of disaster risk management. There are three main reasons
for this integration:
(i) a hazard map plays a key role in disaster risk identification, and it
is an effective tool in making local knowledge visible;
(ii) local knowledge is essential for disaster risk management; and
(iii) GIS maps have advantages over conventional maps. First, hazard
maps are fundamental to the development of a community-based
methodology for collecting and displaying the disaster
vulnerabilities and risks that comprise the core content of local
knowledge (Hatfield,2006).
• Hazard mapping is one of the first steps of producing a community
vulnerability inventory. The flood disaster mapping can contribute to
proper planning and resource allocation for disaster preparedness.
The objective of this research and engineering project is to develop a webbased GIS knowledge management software for
– water resources assessment and monitoring, and
– emergency response planning and monitoring
The application is used for
– Conducting flood risk assessments
– Providing valuable information for disaster recovery planning and
recovery to emergency response units
– Providing valuable information to the public
The application requires
– Integrate remote sensing technology into a knowledge and
communication platform
– Obtain Remote sensing data and develop software algorithms to
synthesize hydrological data
– Conduct research on flood potential of rivers for the development of
geospatial flood risk maps
A conceptual water resources knowledge management framework has been
developed to enquire and collect relevant information for water resources
management and decision making. The framework was developed by
understanding and mapping water resource management and decision making
processes in the Committee of Water Resources – a government agency
responsible for water resources management in Kazakhstan. The framework
includes nine (9) distinct but interrelated components. These are shown in
Table 1.
TABLE 1. Components of Water resources knowledge management framework
Water resources knowledge management framework
Water Resource Strategy and Policy
Stakeholder Management
Ownership, Responsibility, Authority and Resources
Inventory of the water resource and its infrastructure
Condition and Performance of a water resource and its infrastructure
Valuations and Financial Review
Monitoring, Control and Knowledge Management
Internal Process Development and Review
Risk Assessment, Management, and Emergency Response
Figure 2. Development and application of algorithms
• Web-based Geographic Information Systems platform
• Information input from Remote Sensing Technology
– signal processing using algorithms
– geospatial mapping
• Mapping of GPS positions from emergency response units and cell
GPs-enabled mobile phones
• Information dissemination to GPS-enabled mobile phones specific to
defined geographic areas
• The system described herein is
currently non-existent;
• Clients: Ministry of the Environment
and Water resources, KazhydroMet,
emergency services, armed forces
• The need for this IT solution has been
described in the decree for water
Resources management signed into
legislation in 2014 by the President
 Once we have a prototype of the web-based software application established, we
will register a Limited Liability Company that will offer a web-based software and
data subscriptions to our customers. Currently, we are targeting one particular
client segment: any government agency involved in water resources
management and emergency response authorities and NGO’s operating t in the
field of disaster management and recovery
 One of the biggest tasks is to rebuild that knowledge of the water resources
systems in Kazakhstan and make them less vulnerable to changes within
Government agencies. This is achieved with our software solution which will
capture data on water resources in Kazakhstan and store them in a highly
secured data warehouse for as long as the information is needed.
 Once this information has been generated it is available over a secure web
access to any user in the subscribing agency. As part of the subscription, new
information that is generated with new satellite data and our algorithms will be
stored in the secure data ware house and is made available via the web portal to
customers. New information will be generated based on the overflight frequency
of KazEOsat-1 and KazEOsat-2 which is 2 weeks for any given location in
• As it shown in Figure 1. the web-based subscription service
offers continuous information services for the information we
developed with our algorithms and makes this information
available at a mouse click.
• The knowledge management systems makes these electronic
data available to our subscribing customers and eliminates any
need for information stored on paper. Therefore, we improve
access to information which will lead to better and faster decision
making processes when it comes to water resources
 In summary, there is a strong argument this application as it will significantly
improve water resources decision making and emergency response planning and
recovery. Needless to say, that our technology integration with remote sensing
and knowledge management can be applied to many other clients using the same
technology. Here is a listing of potential clients and their uses of the remote
sensing processing and knowledge management architecture:
• Ministry of the Environment for Land use management but also aquatic pollution
• Ministry of Agriculture and irrigation and commercial agro-businesses for crop
• Ministry of Transportation, urban centers for Highway monitoring and
management and traffic
 The overall budget for launching the business is $336,000.00 which includes all
the research and development costs. Currently, we have no funding for starting
up the research and development
 Launching a sustainable project will require initially $10,000.00 for the first phase
of development and includes a dedicated software developer or an off-the-shelf
web-based GIS solution as a platform for presenting remote sensing data. An
additional $30,000 is required for testing and further refinements if the proof of
concept is proven functional and reliable. This also covers legal fees, office
space and a business development budget.
Rate US
Project Management
WP 3 - Remote Sensing
WP 4 - Knowledge management
WP 6 - Final Report & Dissemination of Results
Sum Hours
Sum Labour cost
Finance & Administration (10%)
$33,600.00 $57,600.00 $2,880.00 $36,000.00 $36,000.00
Total Labour cost
RK Committee for Water
JSC «National Company
«Kazakhstan Gharysh
Total hours
$91,200.00 $4,560.00 $50,000.00
$72,000.00 $3,600.00 $15,000.00
$22,080.00 $25,000.00
Alex James – Software
Engineering, NU
Yau Hee, electronics
engineering, NU
Auelbek Zauirbek, Water
resources management
Roland Bradshaw
Dina Kaskina, Principal
TABLE 2. Budget distribution
$9,600.00 $12,000.00
$9,600.00 $19,200.00
$194,880.00 $45,160.00 $65,000.00
Project Manager, Entrepreneur:
Dina Kaskina is a research officer and environmental applications specialist. E-mail:[email protected]
Dr. Roland Bradshaw, Nazarbayev University – Principal Investigator
Roland A Bradshaw earned his Doctorate in Engineering at Cranfield University (UK) in 2008. His Master of Sciences in Water
Resource Technology and Management was earned at The University of Birmingham (UK) in 2001. Prior to that, he
completed his undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering in 2000 earning a German Engineer Diploma with
Dr. Bradshaw has more than 12 years of experience encompassing research, design and construction as well as consultancy
assignments specializing in asset risk assessments for municipal infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water supply
systems, wastewater collection systems and water and wastewater treatment plants. Dr. Bradshaw has a strong research
interest in sustainable infrastructure management as well as risk management specific to water and environmental
Dr. Alex James Nazarbayev University (NU) – Co-Principal Investigator (Remote sensing algorithm development /
Knowledge Management Software)He has obtained his doctoral degree from Griffith University, completing in short 2 year
duration, and was funded through international Australian Research Council fellowship. He was associated as a researcher
with Griffith University, IIIT, UC Berkeley, HCL, Intel and QsSemi. He has over 13 years of experience in industry and
academia with developing memristive computing, neural computing and learning systems, large data decision fusion
systems, brain inspired logic design and cognitive algorithms. He is an adjunct professor at IIIT and CEO of the startup Enview
R&D Labs LLP. He was one of the recipients of IEEE International Outreach funding from IEEE Circuits and Systems Society
in 2012 and was awarded top reviewer of Pattern recognition letters. He has grants for research in applied machine
intelligence and neural computing (2011-2013), biometric internet of things (2013-2014), Indian Language Corpra Initiative
(ILCI) Phase 2 Department of Info. Technology, Govt. of India 2012-2013, virtual resource center for language computing
Govt. of Kerala, 2011-2013. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.
Dr. Yau Hee Kho Nazarbayev University (NU) – Co-Principal Investigator (Remote sensing signal /image processing)
Thank you for your attention!

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