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Weather Impact REgister

In 2019 the CARO-ASBN made a successful proposal to the Public Service Innovation Fund to part fund the development of a mobile App for Local Authority staff to capture the impacts of weather events with an associated Map Viewer and Data Dashboard to view and analyse the collected data. The App is called WIRE – Weather Impacts REgister. The main elements of the WIRE system are:
  • An intuitive form, accessed through a mobile app or on a desktop PC, that allows for the impacts of weather events to be recorded.
  • An online Map Viewer and Data Dashboard to view and analyse the collected information.
The system has been created with ESRI’s ArcGIS Online and Survey123 suite of applications, with strategic advice provided by Climate Ireland. This link with Climate Ireland has facilitated the App development to allow captured data embed into a Climate Change Risk & Vulnerability Tool for cross sectoral use.

Issues Addressed

All sectors of society are being impacted by events and trends associated with climate change. These impacts include damage and service interruptions to critical infrastructure, cultural and natural capital, water quality, flooding, water resources and community services.

In developing the local authority adaptation strategies in 2019 the baseline assessments highlighted the lack of recorded data available on the impacts of weather events on the ground – effects, responses, costs etc.

No consistent methodology existed for capturing the impacts of weather and climate events within the local authority sector, with previous reporting being sporadic and generally existed only if funding was available to deal with a specific event. Smaller costs of dealing with climate and weather events were being absorbed by other budgets and not being identified or collated to inform future planning.

Looking at the projected climate changes and adapting to these changes will require a better understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities of receptors.

Solutions Found

An intuitive data collection form was designed for Local Authority staff to capture the impacts of weather events on various categories of infrastructure, services, and the environment. The form was developed as an App that could be easily uploaded onto a mobile phone so that those Local Authority Staff working on the ground and responding to these events could easily record the impacts and actions taken.

  • The data collection form opens within an app on the user’s smartphone or on their desktop PC.
  • Location is a key element of the system and the location of impact is captured by the device GPS or by plotting on an onscreen map.
  • Photos of the impact are logged and associated with the report and there is the option to upload additional file formats.
  • The components of the system have been packaged together in hub webpage  with training and instructional materials including short how-to videos.
  • The data sits in a cloud service and recorded information is available to view and share in other systems in real time.
  • A web map viewer and data dashboard have been configured for climate adaptation planners in local Authorities, Government Departments, and stakeholder organisations to view and analyse the resulting dataset.
The data collected will be used in conjunction with existing datasets for climate hazards such as spatial datasets for flood prediction to inform climate risk and vulnerability assessments for Local Authorities.

Insights gained from this analysis will help identify area at risk and to develop evidence-based approach to climate adaptation planning.


Outcomes Achieved

This App provides a simple tool to local authorities (and potentially other state agencies) to record and collate the actual impacts and some of the associated costs of climate change in their areas.

The GIS based dataset together with the dashboard and filters developed alongside the App will provide a spatial distribution of risks and vulnerability and help identify the increasing severity and frequency of events that will inform climate adaptation planning.

The dataset will build over time but already the data recorded is highlighting areas of repeated flooding events. The dataset was used, for example, by some the Roads Engineers to identify sections of roads suitable for the recent Climate Change Adaptation Allocation (Circular RW 09/2020).

The CARO are also working with Climate Ireland to develop a Risk & Vulnerability Tool for cross-sectoral use that will incorporate the App’s dataset with those of projected climate change impacts. This will allow areas already experiencing impacts be identified and prioritised for action, as well has inform the trends and frequency of weather impacts on the ground.