Fathom’s data powers NY urban flood risk digital twin demo at COP28

Articles 04.12.2023

KPMG demonstrates the value of protecting cities with a ‘whole systems approach’ at COP28

How can organizations and the public sector manage and mitigate flood risk to the urban environment? A session at COP28 on Wednesday December 6 hosted by KPMG will explore the topic, using a pilot demonstration to illustrate the value of digital twins in future-proofing infrastructure around the world. 

The session entitled ‘Empowering cities with digital twins: advancing policies, investments, and a just transition via a whole systems approach’, will comprise a practical demonstration of flood risk for the US city of Ithaca, both at present day and exploring what risk would look like under different emission scenarios in future years. By integrating multiple datasets into the platform, the demo will highlight how a digital twin can support policy decisions, show the value of investments, and be used to monitor progress. Aligning with two of the UAE’s top themes for COP28, technology and innovation, the session will focus on how local governments and urban planners can identify actionable change. 

The flood risk data for Ithaca will be provided by water risk intelligence firm Fathom, pulled from its new US Flood Map; the most complete and technologically advanced flood map for the US in existence. 

Learn more about the data being shown in the pilot demonstration

The KPMG session will be held in the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub, Blue Zone Pavilion at 5pm-7pm GTS.

Fathom flood data and digital twins

This is not the first time that Fathom data have been used to create a digital twin. Fathom’s specialized flood intelligence is a cornerstone for CReDo (Climate Resilience Demonstrator), a project that is housed at the Connected Places Catapult and also involves cross-sectoral collaboration with Anglian Water, UK Power Networks and BT. CReDo is a pioneering climate change adaptation digital twin initiative focused on safeguarding critical infrastructure assets in the UK. 

As climate-induced disruptions, especially floods, escalate, the project aims to unite infrastructure providers to collectively plan and invest in climate resilience. Fathom’s scientific reputation and transparent data appealed to CReDo, which is developing a digital twin to map and visualize how different assets interconnect across traditional sector boundaries. Fathom’s flood-risk intelligence, covering rainfall, river, and coastal data for East Anglia, enables CReDo to predict flood impacts, assess asset failures, and estimate economic and societal costs. 

This collaboration has not only fortified CReDo’s prototype but also contributed to successful funding applications, indicating the credibility and practicality of the platform in addressing climate challenges. With Fathom’s support, CReDo is poised to expand its platform, incorporating additional regions, partners, and climate risks, exemplifying a proactive approach to climate adaptation. Recently, the project was named a winner in the Verdantix Climate Innovation Awards EMEA 2023.

Fathom’s work at COP over the years

This year, Fathom is at the forefront, collaborating with KPMG to showcase the real-world impact of our flood and climate risk intelligence. It’s not Fathom’s first time featuring our data at COP. Fathom’s data has been showcased in previous years, notably during a COP27 talk on helping vulnerable coastal countries to tackle the challenges of climate change, and one of the company’s co-founders, Dr Jeffrey Neal, joined a panel at COP26 as part of the Global Resilience Index Initiative launch.

As it’s Fathom’s mission to provide scientifically rigorous water and climate information for the benefit of businesses and communities worldwide, we’re proud to continue to work with businesses such as KPMG at COP to ensure that our data continues to deliver real world impact.