An intelligent decision support system for management of floods

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Water Resources Management





First page number:


Last page number:



Integrating human knowledge with modeling tools, an intelligent decision support system (DSS) is developed to assist decision makers during different phases of flood management. The DSS is developed as a virtual planning tool and can address both engineering and non-engineering issues related to flood management. Different models (hydrodynamic, forecasting, and economic) that are part of the DSS share data and communicate with each other by providing feedback. The DSS is able to assist in: selecting suitable flood damage reduction options (using an expert system approach); forecasting floods (using artificial neural networks approach); modeling the operation of flood control structures; and describing the impacts (area flooded and damage) of floods in time and space. The proposed DSS is implemented for the Red River Basin in Manitoba, Canada. The results from the test application of DSS for 1997 flood in the Red River Basin are very promising. The DSS is able to predict the peak flows with 2% error and reveals that with revised operating rules the contribution of Assiniboine River to the flooding of Winnipeg city can be significantly reduced. The decision support environment allows a number of “what-if” type questions to be asked and answered, thus, multiple decisions can be tried without having to deal with the real life consequences.


Artificial neural networks; Computer simulation; Decision support system; Flood control; Flood damage prevention; Flood forecasting; Flood management; Neural networks (Computer science); North America – Red River Valley (Minnesota and North Dakota and Manitoba); Red River; Reservoir operation; System dynamics


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies




The original publication is available at


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

UNLV article access

Search your library