Coastal prevention strategy
Romain Chapron has designed an anti-flood device with a detachable barrier system and a forecasting and alert application. The ‘Wave Bumper’ system will be tested in Biarritz.
‘’With coastal urbanisation, the inevitable rise of sea level, and increasingly frequent and intense storms, the costs of repairing and protecting the coastline are rising. On the Basque coast, for example, winter storms are regularly damaging barriers, docks and cliffs, and threatening inhabited areas,’’ attests Romain Chapron.
Set up in the Technocité technology park incubator since April 2016, this renowned surfboard manufacturer with 20 years’ experience in shipbuilding using composite materials has developed a project called the ‘Wave Bumper’. This is a system of removable barriers which are set up in the event of a flood risk created by a strong swell, a large tidal coefficient, a storm or, in the worst cases, all of these scenarios at once.
An app under preparation
These removable barriers are made of composite materials assembled and arranged provisionally at particularly sensitive points. Fifty of these units are in the process of being manufactured and will be placed on the Grande Plage in Biarritz, at the foot of the Hôtel du Palais, during a flood alert. This set of modules aims to prevent the swell from eroding the building’s buttresses. The Biarritz town hall is a project partner and a pilot town.
In addition to this system of removable barriers, Romain Chapron has developed a forecasting application computing the impact of waves with increased precision. The idea is to identify the areas which need protecting on a 100-metre scale. The application will also be aimed at the public, alerting individuals of a flood risk in an area they have been tracked to. The Wave Bumper company will be created in January 2017 and the first full-scale tests will be conducted at the beginning of the year.