One of the places where the Internet of Things can have the biggest impact is in our city infrastructure. Not only will it help to decrease spending in the long term, but it’ll also help to make our systems more efficient and less prone to error.
In my own town this past month, I’ve been plagued with horrible storms including tornadoes and flooding. Damage has been done that not only lost individual people and government employees vast amounts of money but also lives. I wondered what we might have been able to do to prevent some of these losses.
First, you have to understand the problem. Without a large amount of soil to help collect excess water, we have to use pipes to collect and transport the water to rivers. Simple right? Unfortunately, not. This dirty water has a higher temperature than river water which will affect the ecosystem of and around the river. Also, a dramatic increase in water being pushed to the river could cause flooding itself, simply moving the problem from one place to another. So what can we do?
Moisture sensors are a part of that answer. By putting moisture sensors in the soil, you start up a system to divert that rainwater to different areas at different times in the exact quantities you need. The system will be very flexible, giving you control over what areas need more or less water and when to shut it off.
Of course, in intense flooding like I’d had, water would still end up being diverted to the rivers as our last resort, meaning we would hurt our ecosystem, right? Not if we do things right.
Turbidity sensors (sensors which measure how dirty water is) can be used to help with this. When plugged into a simple filtering system, you have a quick and easy way to control your flood waters without over-watering soil and plants or hurting our ecosystem.
One of the best things about a system like this is that it’s really not very expensive. We’re not trying to filter for drinking water nor do we need any intricate system. It could easily be scaled up or down based on the size of your city, urban or rural areas, or any number of factors. It’s flexible, fast, cheap, and efficient, and most importantly — it’ll help save lives, money, and our environment.