SAS hackathon winner predicts and mitigates Jakarta flooding

  • Pursuing smart city goals, Jakarta local govt teams with SAS partner
  • Analyzed real-time data on rainfall, water levels, river flow to predict flooding

SAS hackathon winner predicts and mitigates Jakarta flooding

AI and real-time Internet of Things (IoT) analytics can help smart cities harness a rising tide of data and transform it into better decisions, safer communities and vibrant economies. With climate change, these smart cities face a literal rising tide: Extreme weather has increased and intensified flooding events that threaten lives, property and commerce. 

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital and home to 11 million people, has witnessed this new reality. While the city has a long history of flooding, the last few decades have been especially challenging.

Jakarta sits on wetlands laced by 13 major rivers and borders the Java Sea. More than 40% of its land is below sea level, and groundwater extraction has led to the ground sinking. Combine those conditions with stronger monsoons and higher tides caused by climate change, and the threat is very real.

Against this sombre backdrop, the annual SAS Hackathon brings together hundreds of participants for a monthlong hack. The competition, sponsored this year by SAS partner Intel, challenges teams in a host of industries to apply technology to solve real-world business and humanitarian problems.

A panel of judges named JaWaRA (Jakarta Water Resources Analytics) the overall winner of the 2023 SAS Hackathon from among more than 100 teams representing 140 organizations that participated in this year's Hackathon. 

SAS hackathon winner predicts and mitigates Jakarta flooding“Team JaWaRA and its early warning system are a wonderful example of creative people using AI and advanced analytics to address big challenges,” said Einar Halvorsen (pic), Global Hackathon Program Lead at SAS. “That’s what the SAS Hackathon is all about. Teams transform data into better decisions that improve lives in their organizations, communities and the world at large. Congratulations to Team JaWaRA.”

Working with a SAS mentor, JaWaRA deployed SAS® Viya® – SAS’ cloud-native, AI and analytics platform – and SAS Analytics for IoT. The team analyzed real-time data on rainfall, water levels and river flow to better predict and mitigate flooding. Its early warning system is part of a larger, citywide Flood Control System.

Team JaWaRA included government data scientists and engineers, along with technology pros from local SAS partner StarCore Analytics.

“In cities and regions everywhere, climate change has increased the risk, frequency and severity of flooding. To meet this rising threat, governments like Jakarta’s are taking steps to better predict, manage and mitigate flooding,” said Amir Toha, co-founder of StarCore Analytics. “These efforts save lives, protect property and support business. In Indonesia and elsewhere, AI and IoT analytics are important tools for responding effectively to climate change.” 

The combination of local Jakarta government agencies and StarCore Analytics has been fruitful. At last year’s SAS Hackathon, a team of data scientists from the Special Capital Region of Jakarta and StarCore also won the overall crown.

That team used SAS Viya and its AI and machine learning capabilities to optimize the distribution of COVID-19 relief to more than 64 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These MSMEs employ 97% of Indonesia’s workforce and are the engine driving the local and national economy.


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