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U.S. scientists use 'internet of water' to manage floodwaters

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 01:34

Stormwater management systems in the U.S state of Michigan could be getting a hi-tech upgrade designed to reduce the impact of flooding in American cities. Amy Pollock reports.

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The so-called 'internet of water' could be part of the solution to flooding in cities across the United States. University of Michigan researchers are piloting a 'smart' stormwater system in Ann Arbor. The system combines real-time data on how much water is in the system to help regulate water flow. SOUNDBITE (English) RESEARCH FELLOW, DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, BRANDON WONG, SAYING: "We have a network of sensors and valves and other data we can pull in, so weather forecasts and we combine all those together to figure out when is a good time to close these valves, when is a good time to open these valves?" The team can control the valves remotely using smartphone apps. Eventually this could mean the water released into the wetlands around Ann Arbor being regulated autonomously. SOUNDBITE (English) RESEARCH FELLOW, DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, BRANDON WONG, SAYING: "By also having this on the internet, it doesn't have to be me that controls it, it could be a colleague of mine, it could be the city and it could also just be autonomous." With between 10 and 20 valves per square mile of the stormwater system there's plenty of data to monitor. The team say their smart system helps ageing infrastructure cope with the increased building pressures on green areas. SOUNDBITE (English) RESEARCH FELLOW, DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, BRANDON WONG, SAYING "So what we have done here is making use of the remaining green areas and making them more effective by putting in these valves." The project won a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation. If successful, it could be rolled out across the United States.

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U.S. scientists use 'internet of water' to manage floodwaters

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 01:34