Oxford residents can now view an interactive, online map that shows real-time water levels in the area from measurements taken by strategically placed Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Over 30 IoT devices have been deployed around the area to date, including sensors to monitor water levels in the streams, groundwater and basin of the Thames and Cherwell rivers. More sensors will be added in the future.
The map also uses data from the Environment Agency’s sensors mounted at locks in the nearby area to provide as comprehensive a picture as possible.
The technology is intended to create an extensive, localised, early-warning system for flood-prone areas for the first time in the UK.
The devices make use of white space in TV signal radio frequencies to transmit their data to a central network.
The map is compiled by smart city company Nominet which has compiled a TV white space database that informs devices what frequencies they can use in which area, at what power and for how long in order not to disrupt other signals on the same frequencies.
Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet said, “As we have demonstrated with the Flood Network, the Internet of Things goes well beyond the home into a multitude of real-world, practical applications that can support infrastructure and environmental monitoring.
“If this can work in Oxford, it can work anywhere and recent events have underlined the importance of effective monitoring systems when flood waters begin to rise.”
The Oxford Flood Network map can be viewed here.
The release of the map comes at a time of poor weather conditions in the UK, with counties on the Scotland-England border suffering from severe flooding.
The former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers recently recommended that new British buildings should be constructed one metre from the ground to prevent flood damage.