Building climate resilience into integrated infrastructure with CReDo

Digital Twin Hub > Case Studies > Case studies > Building climate resilience into integrated infrastructure with CReDo

Case Study Overview

Fathom gave CReDo’s climate change adaptation platform powerful scientific foundations through access to independently validated flood data with over three decades of academic legacy.

What challenges does it solve?

CreDo has been developed as a collaborative effort by the Digital Twin Hub, Anglian Water, UK Power Networks and BT. Its aim is to help the cross-sectoral infrastructure network adapt to climate change and improve climate resilience. To achieve this they are developing a Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) that will host a digital twin that allows businesses to understand the impact of climate on assets, as well as understand the cascading impact of asset failure.

Their cross-industry outlook is what makes CReDo so unique. There are very few platforms currently offering asset managers the ability to look at their indirect risk. When an asset floods, the ensuing disruption is not limited to the network to which the asset belongs. As a flood’s effects cascade across interconnected asset networks, so do its wider impacts on society and the local economy.

Now in its second phase, its end users require information on assets at a local and global scale, with many also requesting data on plausible future climate-driven changes in risk. To enhance the overall infrastructure network, providers need to work together to plan and invest in climate change adaptation and resilience measures.

Although still in development, CReDo’s technical team knew early on that they needed to find external specialist flooding and climate change expertise for the platform to work.

CReDo’s technical lead, Elliot Christou, explains: “In the early phases of the project, our first instinct was to try and run flood simulations and generate data ourselves. But we found that to be very challenging because, while we have many technical experts on the team, we don’t have any hydrologists.” They set out to find an external provider of flood-risk intelligence.

How have you integrated data & technology?

After setting out a project scope and conducting market research, CReDo chose Fathom based on its strong scientific reputation and legacy. The flood-risk intelligence provider has over 30 years of academic legacy, that can be traced back to the formation of the first 2D grid that is now used by flood modelers worldwide to map the peril’s risk.

Fathom provided CReDO developers with inland (pluvial and fluvial) and coastal data for the UK, under several climate scenarios. CReDo developers were able to use Fathom data to prototype the first stage of the platform, using East Anglia as the test area.

The prototype successfully predicted: a) which sites would be affected by different levels of inundation under various climate scenarios, across a range of return periods and flood perils, b) which assets might be impacted by indirect damage, and c) the economic cost and societal impact of such an event.

Alongside providing CReDo with the flood data, Fathom supported them to adapt the data to meet the projects varying needs; along the way fully explaining how to use the maps, combine it with other datasets and interpret the data.

What outcomes have you delivered?

“Fathom’s methods of peer review give it a different kind of credibility. We knew that they were the experts and the right people to work with. The team was really enthusiastic about supporting our innovation goals and very generous with their time explaining how to use and interpret the data.”

Working with Fathom data, CReDo has made big steps toward finishing its prototyping phases and ultimately, creating a digital twin that can support critical decision-making cross-sector.

Moving to the second phase, CReDo is now scaling the platform across new regions and sectors, expanding into transport and local authorities sectors, including new perils like extreme heat.

“The national coverage of Fathom’s data enabled us to demonstrate the extensibility and scalability of the CReDo approach. The data describing different types of flood enables the possibility to investigate the impact of different types of flood event on different types of infrastructure,” added Toby Greenwood, Business Development Manager with CReDo project partner, CMCL.

Have you delivered any unexpected benefits?

The prototype has also been key to CReDo’s successful funding application for £913,000 to Ofwat, the UK water regulator, to incorporate the effects of extreme heat on water networks. “Fathom’s work on the prototype really helped open up that opportunity for us,” says Christou.

What lessons have you learn that apply to future work?

“Fathom’s pro-innovation and flexible approach has been invaluable to CReDo’s progress. It gives us extra credibility with partners and funders that we’re using reliable and well-tested flooding data for lots of different scenarios. Fathom’s helpfulness and support for our goals have also been hugely valuable. They always got back to our questions, no matter what they were. They fulfilled all our requests in a short timescale, including data-sharing agreements, so we could do what we needed to do.”

Elliot Christou, CReDo