An artificial intelligence (AI)-driven tool has been developed by tech giant Google to better predict river basin floods in over 80 countries and provide critical flood forecasting for 460 million people and over 1,800 sites.

The Flood Hub provides users with locally relevant flood data and flood forecasts up to seven days in advance so they can take timely action. The system is based on a Hydrologic Model that determines whether a river is expected to flood by processing publicly available data sources, such as precipitation and other weather and basin data, and outputs a near-term forecast for the water level. An Inundation Model simulates the behavior of the water as it moves across the floodplain based on the hydrology forecast and satellite imagery, enabling identification of areas likely to be affected and assessment of water level changes.

AI models form the basis of Google's Flood Hub. Source: GoogleAI models form the basis of Google's Flood Hub. Source: Google

Forecasts are publicized via alerts on Google Search, Maps and Android notifications to help more people access flood information.

The AI tool, recently expanded to include 800 riverine regions in Canada and the U.S., is currently being improved to better predict sudden flash floods and enhance accuracy in predicting flooding in urban areas.

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