Flood alert and remote monitoring of water reservoirs and rivers

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River flood alert and water reservoir managements are global growing requirements. SolidAT offers a full or partial solution (according to the customer's requirements) that can save lives and damage to property inflected by river floods. Moreover we provide real time water reservoir level and capacity. Awareness of governments and municipalities world wide is growing. Below is described a case study deployed in India.  Enginova computers has deployed a solution based on SolidAT's ultrasonic level sensors to remotely monitor water reservoir capacity and river flow in the state of Maharashtra, India. The complete solution is marketed under the Brand Name AQUASCAN The first stage of the project was completed in 2008, the Second phase is in progress. During the first stage 80 systems were deployed throughout the region. The solution is planned to be deployed throughout Maharashtra and in other Indian states. The success story is planned to be duplicated or adjusted to other countries where flood alert and\or reservoir & river monitoring is crucial. The need The state of Maharashtra is storing water that is gathered during the Monsoon season in large water reservoirs (15-100 square kilometers) that are controlled by dams. The stored water is mainly used for agriculture as well as drinking water through out the dry season.  Water reservoir capacity as well as river flow is crucial to the everyday life of the population as decisions such as water appropriation to agriculture is derived from the related water levels. Moreover, in the monsoon season, heavy rain may result in floods that put millions of people in jeopardy, not to mention the financial damage. A key factor for the need for a remote monitoring solution is the presence of many of the reservoirs in remote locations.

The Solution
SolidAT's robust Ultrasonic sensors – the Monoscan and Smartscan 25 are installed on dams to measure the level of water in the reservoirs and rivers. The measured parameter is distance between the sensor and the water level.  This data is converted to volume. First it is converted form from distance to MSL (Mean Sea Level). From water level the data is converted to volume based on data acquired by a government held survey that translates water level into water volume or water flow (in Reservoirs and rivers accordingly). The data is calculated in segments of 5mm, a fact that requires a high level of accuracy from the sensor.

The 2-wire cost and power effective Monoscan is used for measuring distances up to 10m (from sensor to water) and the 4-wire high power Smartscan 25 is used for longer distances up to 30m. These distances are shorter than the maximum measurement distance for closed tanks (15m and 40m accordingly) as the wind factor needs to be taken into account.

The products are IP65 and are fit for harsh whether conditions. This enables them to withstand the harsh environment of heavy monsoons, wind, direct sun and vast temperature variations. That being said, the customer decided to place the units within small metal shields in order to prevent vandalism and reduce the direct whether stress from the units.

This acquired data is sent via a GSM\SMS modem to various destinations: a central server located at the Head Office of Enginova Computers at Aurangabad. The server processes the data so received and sends it to the Websites of the departments concerned immediately. The process continues 24X7 . In addition to the online data being available on the websites, the data is available to everyone in following ways:

  • The Data is presented on large Display Boards ( 12 feet X 12 feet) placed on main highways. The same data is presented in municipal control rooms. The data is monitored by the municipal staff and on the same time it is viewed by the local farmers. The data is automatically updated on an hourly basis.
  • SMS messages are sent to 1000 employees (right from the Highest Officer in Hierarchy to Lowest one responsible for a particular Dam Site) every morning at 08:00 with the status update of the reservoirs or river under their jurisdiction.
  • Every Any citizen can send an SMS to the server which has a fixed mobile number published phone number and ask demand for the current status of the reservoir or river of his choice – at any time of the day and he/she will receive back the reply instantaneously of the current status. on demand.

Flood monitoring – in addition to the periodic updates, the system generates also alert warnings when certain water levels are breached. The two important levels are known as warning caution level and flood danger level.

Communication infrastructure – the Mobile network in the remote locations of the region does not support GPRS which is the standard protocol for data communication over GSM. As a result, the data transfer in this project was based on SMS messaging – a technology that enjoys from good coverage across the region. This is almost the backbone of mobile network and so can be easily banked upon.

Summary
The state of Maharashtra in India searched for a remote monitoring solution in order to perform on-line monitoring of it's water reservoirs and rivers.

These water resources are a source of life during most of the year but can become deadly if they are flooded, hence tight monitoring if far from being a privilege – It is a necessity.

On the other hand during drought water level becomes extremely important for its judicious use. The State of Maharashtra chose Engonova computers as system integrators for this project. In turn Enginova chose SolidAT as a partner to provide level sensors. The Monoscan and SmartScan25 were selected to measure these challenging water resources. The mixture of products offers a good combination of price and performance and is fit both for medium and long distances. The remote monitoring solution is based on SMS messages over the GSM network in order to support the local infrastructure. The system provides both the population and the municipal professionals with 'on-line' and 'on-demand' data of the water resources of the region.

The data gathered from remote locations enables the government to maintain an updated and accurate full picture of the water status in the region. The first stage of the reservoir and river remote monitoring project was deployed successfully and future phases are planned to be deployed through out Maharashtra over the next few years. The Second phase is taking place during Q3 & Q4 2009.

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