Dublin City Council turns to Internet of Things for flood alert system

Smart Dublin Rain Project
Pictured: Jamie Cudden, Dublin City Council, Prof Linda Doyle and Dr Frank Smyth, Connect

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30 May 2017 | 0

Smart Dublin, an initiative of Dublin City Council and the other Dublin Local Authorities, has partnered with the Science Foundation Ireland networks research centre Connect and Intel to deploy low-cost sensors across the capital to monitor rainfall, weather conditions and river levels.

Using Connect’s Pervasive Nation Internet of Things (IoT) network, the sensors will communicate data wirelessly to Dublin City Council’s operations team who will analyse water levels, helping the Council manage any emergency situations.

“This pilot project has the potential to revolutionise our rainfall and water level monitoring systems around the city, making the capital safer for its citizens and visitors,” said Gerard O’Connell of Dublin City Council’s Flood Advisory Office. “Flood damage to the city infrastructure ranges from €2 million to €100 million per annum currently, with an average of around €8 million per annum. This figure is increasing due to sea level rises and more intense rainfall events.”

Jamie Cudden, Smart City programme manager, Dublin City Council, said: “Dublin is emerging as a leading location for Smart City and IoT innovations. Intel’s Dublin Living Lab Programme has already carried out some initial flood monitoring activity across the city which has led to the prototyping of a set of river and rainfall sensors. Projects like this demonstrate how low-cost environmental sensor networks can be scaled to generate useful and actionable flood data for communities living across the city.”

Connect director Prof Linda Doyle said: “The new detectors make use of a new communications technology called LoRa which is a low power, wide area network… The Internet of Things is about installing low cost sensors on everyday objects and connecting them to the internet for information exchange and communications. This opens up all sorts of possibilities in terms of tracking, monitoring and management. This Smart Dublin initiative is a good example of how IoT can be of practical benefit to citizens.”

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