HoWaMan - Sustainable Strategies and Technologies for Flood Risk Management in Arid and Semi-arid Areas


Key Data

Goal: Reducing the vulnerability and exposure as well as increasing the risk awareness and resilience of the society in arid and semi-arid areas

Method: Flash flood early warning system and human-flood interaction at micro-level through Agent-Based-Modelling

Duration: March 2020 to February 2023

Partner: 7 from Germany, 3 from Iran



Shima Nabinejad

Scientific staff


+49 241 80 25266



Description and goals

HoWaMan is an international-interdisciplinary project developing techniques and modeling tools required for “Flash flood early warning systems” for arid and semi-arid areas to reduce vulnerability and exposure. Another objective is to raise risk awareness and resilience of society by exploring public engagement and micro-level human-flood interaction applying an innovate methodology “Agent-Based-Modeling”. Such a modern flood risk management (FRM) includes social features of the basin combining physical and technical aspects. The study area is Kan river basin in Iran whose climate, geographic characteristics, and FRM’s challenges are typical in arid and semi-arid regions giving the opportunity to transfer achieved experiences to other similar areas.

  Kan basin as well as heavy rain-induced flash flood Copyright: © IWW Kan basin as well as heavy rain-induced flash flood

The IWW is the project coordinator and involved in all designed 4 Work Packages (WP) of the project. In WP1, IWW collaborates with the University of applied sciences in Magdeburg-Stendal in flood risk assessment to predict current and future flood risk for the region. In WP2, IWW collaborates with KISTERS AG to overcome the lack of rainfall data. In WP3, IWW is the lead partner and is responsible for the whole WP. The main task of IWW is here the implementation and simulation with an agent-based model for the adaption behaviour of the stakeholders and the population in FRM. In WP4, IWW collaborates with the Chair of Sociology of Technology and Organization of RWTH Aachen in human capacity building.


Partners and funding

The following partners are involved in the research project:

  • Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW, RWTH Aachen, Germany)
  • Research group Flood risk management (HS-M, University of applied sciences in Magdeburg, Germany)
  • Flood Competence Center (HKC, Germany)
  • Chair of Sociology of Technology and Organization (STO, RWTH Aachen, Germany)
  • KISTERS AG, Business Unit Water (Germany)
  • Research Institute of Water and Waste Management (FiW, RWTH Aachen, Germany)
  • DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Segment for Hydrogeology and Water Management (Germany)
  • Water Engineering Research Institute (Tarbiat Modares University, Iran)
  • Water Research Institute (WRI, Iran)
  • Teheran AB-KHAK Consulting Engineers (TACE, Iran)

The joint project HoWaMan is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the funding code 13N15177 through the project sponsoring of VDI. The project is one of 6 joint projects in the funding program “International Disaster and Risk Management – IKARIM”

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