Rapid Engineering Assessment

Rapid Engineering Assessment of Levees (REALTM) California

Posted on 31 October 2011

Rapid Engineering Assessment

Flood prevention managers base decisions and policies – along with other matters - on river forecast systems and identified risks. Most assessment programs however do not address the geotechnical levee failure mechanisms. The REAL method incorporates the levee’s geotechnical failure mechanisms minimizing the underestimation of flood risks. REAL is based on the repetitive character of the evaluations for large stretches of levees and the need to perform these assessments, both efficiently and economically. In 2009 REAL was tested on a large stretch of levees of the Department of Water Resources of California.


REAL is a GIS based automated levee assessment method which enables batch processing of different failure mechanisms using sophisticated algorithms, surface and subsurface models. The models consist of different types of data (LiDAR, HEM, boreholes, CPT’s and water levels).


  • Systematic consistency in studying levee failure mechanisms
  • Multi water level analyses, such as high event scenarios
  • Economic periodic levee re-assessments


REAL is developed by Fugro in close cooperation with Deltares. The pilot project was carried out very successfully and provided valuable insights in the effects high water levels on the strength of the levees.

Project location

Project partners

  • Deltares
  • Fugro Water Services