A new flood onset warning system for the Barotse Floodplain, Zambia

Supervisors: Dr Mark Smith and Dr Tom Willis

Each year the Zambezi River floods over 10,000 km2 in the Barotse floodplain. Determining the onset of the annual flood peak is critical to planning and resourcing the distributed health centres that provide critical care to the local population, in particular distributing anti-malarial medication. In the absence of automated gauge data suitable warning systems are difficult to create.

This project will determine a suitable approach for creating a flood onset warning system that will provide local authorities with a timespan to supply medical centres across the floodplain. This will use existing tools (developed as part of an ongoing NERC-funded project examining the link between flood dynamics and malaria transmission), including a rainfall-runoff model, a hydraulic flood inundation model (LISFLOOD-FP), and river discharge and rainfall data. The key aim is to develop an improved understanding of the principle hydrological processes and to determine a suitable dataset with which to operate these tools.

To discuss this opportunity further, please contact Dr Mark Smith (lead supervisor), e: m.w.smith@leeds.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or be in their final year and expecting to receive, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) in a relevant subject. Applicants will need to have their own funding in place for fees and living costs. Study can begin in October 2019 or before.

How to apply

Please see “Step 2” on our How to apply page.

For queries about the project, please contact Dr Mark Smith, e: m.w.smith@leeds.ac.uk or for application enquiries, please contact Jacqui Manton, e: j.manton@leeds.ac.uk.