Flood & Erosion Prediction

The operation of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena, New York controls the water levels on Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan and the St. Lawrence River. Baird was asked to evaluate the impacts of alternative regulation plans and the associated water levels on coastal flooding, erosion and existing shoreline protection maintenance.

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International Joint Commission
Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River
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Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River

Project Highlights

Baird developed a custom software application, the Flood and Erosion Prediction System (FEPS), to predict the shoreline response over a 101 year temporal period for individual property parcels. Functions were also developed to quantify these physical changes in economic terms.

  • A comprehensive digital property parcel database was populated for the entire shoreline of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to Massena, New York
  • Automated GIS tools were developed to populate the property parcels with critical information for damage calculations
  • Applied the FEPS to over 4,000 km of shoreline and 20,000 individual property parcels

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Project Challenges

  • Regulation Plan formulators required full access to the FEPS software to test plans and investigate adaptive management scenarios.
  • The client needed to be able to rapidly assess alternative regulation plans.
  • A fully functional application was required in 2.5 years.
  • Stakeholder education and buy-in to the project was required to garner public support of the study and acceptance of the findings.

Baird Solutions

  • The algorithms were developed with a graphical user interface to permit users to change key variables and rapidly complete sensitivity analysis.
  • The FEPS simulation builder linked automatically to the client software generating alternative regulation plans.
  • Strong project management of a large team ensured a functional system was delivered on time.
  • Over 20 meetings were held in a variety of settings during the study to inform stakeholders of the process and findings.

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