A&M researcher helps to develop map that better predicts flooding

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - As flooding plagues certain areas of the Brazos Valley, a Texas A&M geography researcher is working to provide more and more precise, information to predict flooding patters.

George Allen with the Texas A&M Department of Geography has helped create a new global map called MERIT Hydro, and he joined First News at Four to explain how it works and why it matters. See the video player above for the full conversation and demonstration.

"You can think of it as a global road map for water," said Allen. But not just where water is, also "where it will flow."

This information is already being used by the companies who insure insurance companies, and Allen says it could

"This is absolutely essential to predict...how a region will respond to drought events and flooding," Allen said. "This can be used to predict exactly where, and when, and even the extent of flooding."

That information could eventually make its way directly to potential homeowners.

"Eventually this type of dataset will be used to create flood zoning maps that correspond to the likelihood that a flood will occur in that area," said Allen.