Interview

Water Disaster Prevention Platform that Serves as a Bridge to Help with Community Development

Aiming for Zero Disaster Deaths by Centrally Consolidating Risk Information and Damage Information about Flood

INTRODUCTION

Natural disasters have become more severe and frequent every year. The future will change greatly depending on how information is received and decisions are made when that time comes. Currently, even in disaster prevention, various sources provide information of their own, but the amount is too huge. Rather, it is difficult to get access to real useful information. Nippon Koei has developed "Bosuke", a water disaster prevention platform that can centrally visualize only the selected information from these various types of data. Since the introduction cost is dramatically reduced and various functions can be installed as options, joint development and adoption have already been decided in various fields.

PROFILE

General Manager, River & Water Resources Division., Consulting Operations Headquarters., Nippon Koei. (Business Strategy Headquarters,Digital Innovation Division as well.)
Joichi Koso

Joined the company in 1991. After being assigned to the Fukuoka branch, he worked at the Hiroshima branch, Osaka branch, and waterworks infrastructure management department before becoming the General Manager of the River Water Resources Division. Since 2006, he has been engaged in various projects as a professional in hydraulic and water utilization planning ; such as being involved in the basic policy and maintenance plan for river maintenance of directly controlled rivers and the reorganization and redevelopment projects of existing dams. He is also a member of the Digital Innovation Management Department.

Manager, River Dept., River & Water Resources Division., Consulting Operations Headquarters., Nippon Koei.
Akio Inuyama

Joined the company in 2000. After he was assigned to the Fukuoka branch, he became the chief of the department after working at the River Water Engineering Department. Since 2013, he has been engaged in a wide range of activities such as comprehensive hydraulic control, water cycle planning, water environment, water disaster prevention/crisis management planning, high water/river channel planning, inundation assumption, and earthquake/tsunami countermeasures. In recent years, he has been involved in many projects related to water disaster prevention and mitigation measures.

* The department name, job title, and interview content were at the time of the interview.

STORY

Collect Knowledge Across the Company. Focusing on Flood Control, Aiming for Water-related Disaster Prevention that Meets Needs.

−−−Every year, a great rainfall occurs. The maintenance of facilities has not caught up, and existing facilities have exceeded their capacities, and the hardware measures have reached a plateau. Also, in terms of software, there are few things that satisfy real-time situation monitoring and awareness of danger. In addition, equipment for grasping the inundation situation is expensive, and the cost for management and renewal and human resources remain uncertain for developing system by their own.
"Bosuke” (trademark pending) can solve these problems at once. Map data incorporating topographical data is equipped with basic functions that can display rainfall, flow rate, water level, and inundation depth in real time. It is a platform that can be additionally customized with a high degree of freedom, such as AI analysis and AR/VR. We asked the team leader, Mr. Koso, and one of the developers, Mr. Inuyama, about the development process and motivation.

Koso:Our company has frameworks of "technical policy" and "research and development". The company supports useful projects that go across various fields, and I worked on the field of disaster prevention. In the development of "Bosuke", the knowledge of each related department is aggregated. There are many shining technologies scattered throughout our company, and I thought that the potential was there from the start.
Although there are many issues, the themes within the team were the following: what kind of information should be provided to encourage voluntary evacuation; easy confirmation of timely and easy-to-understand information; and visualization of various numerical values. "What to do". Abundant options such as disaster damage grasping and AI analysis using satellites and SNS can be installed. Management cost can be reduced to about 1/10 of the conventional one by implementing cloud services. Change of acquired information can easily be done and flexibly linked with other companies' cloud services. While solving these problems, "Bosuke" was completed. Because the base was firmly built up, various additional functions and customizations are possible.

Functions of Disaster Prevention Platform

Provide Consulting Services not only in the Field of Flood Control, but also from the Perspective of Regional Development.

−−−In particular, abundant additional functions make "Bosuke" an unparalleled level of platform for flood control and disaster prevention. What can be achieved if we effectively use these functions?

Inuyama: In the future, when the Meteorological Services Act changes and we will be able to provide disaster prevention information to citizens, we are thinking about further development of our services. It is just my own opinion, but I believe that we, who can approach local governments, private companies, and citizens, are the ones who can create a seamless relationship with the people involved. That is why I believe it is important to know the true needs by participating in the community.

Koso:The next thing I am thinking of is to connect with other fields than flood control. Although there is a perspective of personal information, we believe that this will be a good match with services for watching over the elderly. For example, if your parents live alone in a rural area, you may be worried about whether your parents' home is a safe area when disaster occurs, and even if it is in danger, you may not know whether they have evacuated. In such cases, with just one tagging, we can track their actions. If we can post information on evacuation centers as well, we think it will be valuable as information on various aspects of the community. As you can see, if you have ideas and the technology to install it, you can utilize it in various areas. We will continue to explore the possibilities of "Bosuke".

−−−The name called Water-related Disaster Prevention Platform may conjure up images of rivers. However, "water" originally exists in the air and on land other than rivers. Like water, the river professionals of Nippon Construction are not bound by style or location, and they will provide the experience they have gained for remote and natural areas.