Benefits of InfoWorks ICM Suite

Furthering the Value of InfoWorks ICM

Back to blog home

February 1, 2021 | Ryan Brown

InfoWorks ICM is a powerful modeling tool that can be further valued by using RiskMaster and time series databases (TSDB) which are included in the Infoworks ICM Suite.

Essentially, TSDB is a software system that stores information and associates time with a certain value. In using ICM, these could be either scalar based or spatially based. Scalar data is typically point data and could include things such as inflows, tidal boundary conditions, or rain gages. While spatially based time series data, in addition to a time and value, includes a location attribute as well. In ICM, this tends to be rainfall radar data.

Instead of being limited to idealized or hypothetical conditions and data, the TSDB in ICM allows you to use actual rainfall events in your simulation or other information collected in the field. This can be particularly useful when trying to understand what happened during a specific rain event or predict what will happen using forecasted radar data. The TSDB is flexible enough to import many different types of radar rainfall data including NEXRAD which will validate and correct data if any is missing, and can be used with other data, such as inflows or levels, even if the time steps on each source are different.

Benefit of TSDB and Risk Master

Ultimately, TSDB can benefit organizations by allowing them to use historical data to understand an incident in the past or monitor the performance of their system in the future to know when and where to deploy their resources to protect their citizens from flooding or mitigate SSOs/CSOs.

RiskMaster is used in conjunction with a 2D hydraulic model and is used to estimate the economic damage to structures, then aggregate them based on the annualized probability of a storm event. This can be extremely useful for municipalities who are trying to understand where their biggest risks lie in their cities. It helps to evaluate proposed scenarios where their capital improvement dollars will provide the most economic benefit.

Alternatively, RiskMaster can be used to evaluate various flood management strategies, develop risk scores for overtopping roadways and structure flooding as part of a master planning effort, or evaluate flood risk given failures in the drainage system. A lot the times, cities will prioritize their capital improvement projects based on a risk score and don’t always take into account the monetary piece of it. And these risk scores are usually based on what type of road (residential, US highway, interstate) or type of structure (commercial warehouse, single family homes, industrial facility), and the depth of flooding occurring.

For example, if an interstate is flooding due to capacity problems of a pipe during a 10-year event this would be given a high score because interstates and culverts that run under them should have enough capacity to pass much larger storms than this. Of course, it becomes dangerous for citizens if roads, especially major ones like interstates are flooding all the time because they could be driving through these floodwaters and get swept away and/or emergency vehicles won’t have a way to get around. Normally in a stormwater masterplan, these scores are put together by pulling out the results from the model and dumped into an excel sheet to be manipulated and eventually scored which can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process.

RiskMaster would be able to automatically put together those scores once it gets set up and would easily let you re-score them as things change in the model/watershed. Plus, by having it all in the software it’s easy to repeat the process and limits any data entry errors that might occur if you’re having to copy and paste a bunch of data from the model to an excel sheet.

InfoWorks ICM Suite provides you all the necessary tools to efficiently monitor, measure and plan for all your past, present and future rainfall events. Allowing for you to confidently and accurately carry out your risk assessments and flood management strategies, while making the surrounding roads and urban safer for its citizens. 

To learn more, speak with an expert or request a demo, click here


Tags: floooding, 2D modeling tool, time series databases, hydraulic modeling

About the Authors

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown

Systems Engineer – Southeastern US


Ryan is a Systems Engineer with Innovyze with over 8 years of experience in consulting where he primarily focused on stormwater and riverine analysis, planning, and design using a variety of different software packages. His experience also extends to FEMA floodplain compliance and transportation hydraulics design.