Intense rainfall (Shutterstock)

Intense rainfall (Shutterstock)

Water scientists from South Korea and the UK have agreed to collaborate on developing new and improved methods for tackling flooding from intense rainfall, an issue presenting challenges in both countries, especially as the world adapts to climate change.

Today (9 May 2012), the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in the UK and the Korea Institute of Construction Technology (KICT) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to encourage research on flood hydrology.

Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, “This new agreement is vital, as it seeks to address challenges posed by flooding from extreme events which have repeatedly caused disruption and severe economic damage in both countries. The collaboration will bring together leading researchers in the UK and South Korea and strengthen the science and innovation relationship between our two countries."

Dr Kwang Soo Kim, Director, Water Resources and Environment Research Department at the Korea Institute of Construction Technology, said, “This is the starting point in our future participation to help solve global water security issues including the impacts of floods and droughts. By working with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology we hope to activate practical cooperation in research on urban flood mitigation and wider global water problems.”

As part of this new collaboration, scientists from the two research institutes will share academic outputs and host exchange visits. The first visit to the UK, by Dr Hyeonjun Kim from KICT, has already started. He will spend twelve months at CEH’s headquarters in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, researching urban hydrology.

This work will improve predictions on extreme storm runoff, and help in the development of effective flood mitigation and protection schemes.

The collaboration will also focus on research areas such as hydrological data management and impacts of human activities on water quality and quantity.

Dr Thomas Kjeldsen, who will co-ordinate the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology’s activities under the MoU, said, “Collaboration with world-class scientists from KICT provides CEH with a unique opportunity to test and develop our flood models using data and experiences from a climate which frequently generates much more intense rainfall than we would typically experience in the UK.

"This will enable us to make more reliable predictions of the behaviour of extreme flood in the UK as well as acting as a test bed for possible future conditions that we might face under a changing climate.”

Additional information

CEH issued a press release for this story.

The Korea Institute of Construction Technology (KICT), a government-sponsored research institute, is devising measures to reduce flood damage and droughts while also establishing long-term and comprehensive measures to manage water resources.

Based on mutual interest and benefit, both sides will jointly conduct cooperative areas research in the following technological and academic domain: Hydrology, Hydrological Measurement, Water Resources Management, Seasonal River Forecasting, Flood Forecasting and Control, Climate Change Impact on Water Resources, River Sediment and Management, Soil and Water Conservation, River Restoration, Water Environment/Ecology.

View photos of the signing ceremony on Flickr.

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