Kuala Lumpur’s SMART flood detection and mitigation

Client: Gamuda Behad
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: October 2005 – September 2007

Instigating an innovative solution to forecast and alleviate flash flooding in a major city, saving the enormous potential costs of flood damage to properties and businesses


Kuala Lumpur has experienced regular flooding through the city centre, resulting in significant economic losses from lost business, damage and clean-up activities. Six serious flood events occurred in the seven years before the SMART project was commissioned.


The SMART project diverts floodwaters away from the city via holding ponds and a tunnel, and discharges it into a river downstream of the city. A section of the tunnel is also used as a road tunnel, with two decks of traffic. In a large flood situation, the full tunnel can be used for flood control.

The SMART flood detection system involves collection, transmission, processing and analysis of data to forecast the storm characteristics that dictate the operation mode of the SMART system. The flood detection system simulates the flood operation of the tunnel and incorporates a hydrological flood forecasting model that feeds inflows to a hydraulic model, which represents the river reaches in the city and the tunnel (and associated detention storages).

Rainfall and streamflow measurement stations feed into a database and modelling system, providing a 45-minute flood warning time – enough time to enable the tunnel to be cleared of traffic so that the road deck gates can be opened to allow floodwater through.

Entura was responsible for the network design and hydrological/hydraulic modelling for the SMART flood detection system. Entura fully integrated the SCADA data, hydrologic model and hydrodynamic model, to provide an updated forecast every five minutes, which is input into the decision support system for tunnel operators.


Entura’s considerable flood forecasting experience enabled us to design a robust and accurate system modelling the entire catchment and tunnel, and providing the required timely warning of floods and their magnitude for  SMART to operate successfully to mitigate floods throughout Kuala Lumpur. This will provide savings of millions of dollars in flood damages to the Malaysian Government and businesses in the city centre.