Dublin tests Smart Solutions to address City Flooding Low-cost rainfall detectors deployed around the capital

Smart Dublin, an initiative of Dublin City Council and the other Dublin Local Authorities, has partnered with the CONNECT Centre, a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin, and INTEL to deploy low-cost sensors across the capital to monitor rainfall, weather conditions and river levels.

The new sensors will communicate data wirelessly to Dublin City Council’s operations team who will analyse water levels and take appropriate action. The sensors will use CONNECT’s Internet of Things network - ‘Pervasive Nation’ - to provide city authorities with an early warning of potential flooding.

Gerard O’Connell of Dublin City Council’s Flood Advisory Office said: “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. Flood damage to the city infrastructure ranges from €2m to €100m per annum currently, with an average of around €8m 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 Internet of Things (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.

The second phase of the project, led by the CONNECT Centre and Dublin City Council, involves scaling these river and rainfall sensors to more locations around Dublin. The sensors are currently being deployed at several locations around the city including Ballymun Library, the Bannow Road Drainage Depot in Cabra, the storm overflow tank in Clontarf, and at the UCD campus in Belfield”

Professor Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT at Trinity College Dublin said:  “The new detectors make use of a new communications technology called LoRa™ which is a low power, wide area network offered by CONNECT’s network  ‘Pervasive Nation’. The network has low power demands which mean the sensors have a very long battery life. 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 Internet of Things can be of practical benefit to citizens.”


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Photographs distributed to picture desks by Maxwell Photography, 01-830807.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Smart Dublin (https://www.smartdublin.ie) is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve city challenges and improve city life. It aims to position Dublin as a world leader in the development of new urban solutions, using open data, and with the city region as a test bed.
  2. CONNECT(https://www.connectcentre.ie) is the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks. CONNECT is funded under the SFI Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. CONNECT is a multi-institute research centre headquartered at Trinity College Dublin with over 250 researchers at Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology and Tyndall National Institute, Cork. The Director is Professor Linda Doyle, Professor of Engineering and the Arts at Trinity College Dublin.
  3. Pervasive Nation is Ireland’s Internet of Things testbed operated by CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks headquartered at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. Pervasive Nation is based on Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technology. www.pervasivenation.ie
  4. The LoRa Alliance (https://www.lora-alliance.org/)is an open, non-profit association of members led by industry leaders with a mission to standardize Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) around the world to enable Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to- machine (M2M), smart city, and industrial applications. The Alliance members collaborate to drive the global success of the LoRa protocol (LoRaWAN), by sharing knowledge and experience to guarantee interoperability between operators in one open global standard.