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Water Management

Floodproof Galveston

In september 2018 a team of four master students Civil Engineering at the TU Delft flew to Galveston, Texas with the mission to assist in Floodproofing Galveston. To map the vulnerabilities of Galveston the engineering students created a 3Di flood model.

The team went for a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the water safety challenges. First the mapped the current situation of the area. The two scenario’s that have been taken into account are:

  • Compound flooding (combination of storm surge and intense rainfall)
  • Nuisance flooding (floods that occurs more frequently)

To create a reliable vulnerability map the students created a hydrodynamic model using 3Di. To get a flying start they first took part in the 3Di training program. Included in the Galveston model are the elevation map, land-use and boundary conditions. From a variety of different simulations the following hazard map has been deducted.

The flood model and hazard map have been validated in a stakeholder workshop with civilians and professionals. By combining the floodmaps with landuse a riskmap has been made available. This map expresses the financial damage of compound flooding. The figure below depicts which area’s will be hit the hardest in extreme weather conditions.


After many discussions and a lot of considerations the team presented the following conceptual design to the city of Galveston. This conceptual plan includes measures for compound as well as nuisance flooding. The team also made sure the measures do not have conflicting interest but strengthen the total system. The moving barrier is perhaps the most eye catching proposal that can provide protection against high water levels for the citizens of Galveston. The US Army Corps of Engineers have shown enthusiasm for the approach of combining hydrodynamic modelling with stakeholder meetings.

This project has been carried out by Max van Hugten, Nino Huijsman, Daan Rooze and Nils Kok.
The full report can be downloaded here.

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Mees Rijs

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