A partnership to protect critical infrastructure

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Detailed Description

This video is an introduction to the partnership between the USGS Arizona Water Science Center and the Arizona Department of Transportation, or ADOT, as it is referred to throughout the video. These two agencies are working together, using cutting edge technology and methods, to understand how flood flows interact with and impact critical infrastructure. These data will help engineers design bridges and roadways that can better withstand high flows and flash floods, a common and potentially dangerous occurrence in the desert southwest. 


Date Taken:

Length: 00:03:05

Location Taken: AZ, US


- The USGS's specialty is data collection and at the Arizona Water Science Center we collect a lot of hydrologic data. Our stream gages have monitored decades of flow from hundreds of locations from around our state providing us with the data necessary to analyze flood risk and tendencies, but while these data provide us with clear information about our rivers, questions still remain concerning how floods interact with infrastructure and how development and land use change can alter flood dynamics. This is why it is exciting to have partnered with the Arizona Department of Transportation. It will allow us to target data collection around our state's critical infrastructure and provide a better understanding of how our floods interact with our roadways. These data will then be available to decision makers who can apply it to solve real world problems.

- Our mission at ADOT is to keep the people and the economy of Arizona traveling in the most efficient and effective manner. We need to be certain that our infrastructure can withstand the effects from flooding and erosion. To ensure that we are collecting the best data possible to understand how water behaves at specific locations of critical infrastructure we have partnered with the USGS Arizona Water Science Center. With their expertise in water science and hydrology, ADOT can now use this data to maintain and construct safer and more reliable bridges and roadways.

- {Brandon] The science of measuring and modeling floods has seen monumental advances in the past decade. Were we used to need to have personnel on location to collect data during flood events, we now have the capabilities to measure discharge remotely. Remote centers and reach scale monitoring techniques allow us to continuously record water flow at our sites. Additionally LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging coupled with topographic surveys collected via UAS provide minute details of the terrain to allow us to study simulated flows at our gages within computer models. We can vary the discharge of these simulations to match multiple flow events, providing us a unique insight into potential situations at each one of our gages.

- [Steven] By using USGS data we will be able to better understand how water will interact with our infrastructure allowing us to optimize engineering design and formalize a wider range of risk. This partnership will not only contribute to overall knowledge of hydraulic and infrastructure interactions in a desert environment, but also provide critical data necessary to efficiently manage infrastructure and ensure public safety.

- We are using all of these tools and more working with the Arizona Department of Transportation to provide the data for scientific solutions to Arizona's transportation challenges.