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Intelligent infrastructure that helps mitgate the impact of climate change

| Water

The latest IPCC report states that due to the increase in temperature, there is a greater likelyhood of droughts and flooding occuring as well as a significat increase of the event intensity. Coupled with the ever increasing population, there is now a huge pressure on existing and new infastructure.

To understand the problem that we faceit is necessary to consider a range of information, which can be visualised, analysed, interpreted and shared efficiently. In the UK we begin to build up the insight and understanding by using not only our sensor products but also our software solutions such as HydroMaster and datasphere. Once we understand where the problem is and why there is a problem we can begin making better deicsions about how to react as well as implementing solutions that will lead to a better outcome. One of the solutions we have created in a partnership with Polypipe EPG and Mashup analytics is Polysync: a new and innovative smart tank solution.

Passive irrigation and water storage tanks in the United Kingdom

To create resilient cities, based on the concepts of circular economy and resource efficiency, one way of mitigating urban flooding seen across the UK recently is to slow the direct runoff from the cities roof and direct runoff from impermeable surfaces.

A smart passive irrigation and natural water storage system that can be deployed on natural surfaces and roofs of a city's buildings has been installed in Manchester. It is an IoT-based system of subterranean tanks that capture and retain rainfall, which can then be used to passively irrigate the city's green and blue infrastructure.

Following this approach, a "blue-green smart roof" based on technology from companies KISTERS, EPG, Polypipe Civils and Mashup Analytics has been installed in the Bloc building (a workspace located in Manchester city centre). This system gives insight into how new building and data management technologies can help cities and urban developments mitigate the impact of climate change while enhancing biodiversity.

The smart roof infrastructure allows rainwater to infiltrate into the permavoid and be stored and used for irrgation of the green roof. The storage reduces the volume of surface runoff entering the sewage network during storm events. The green areas also insulate the building from extreme temperatures we are seeing due to climate change.

How does it work?

The system allows rainwater to infiltrate and conducts it to a system of subterranean tanks, avoiding large volumes of surface runoff in the streets and drainage systems on rainy days, and irrigating the green areas on dry days without the need for extra water consumption. This technology has been successfully implemented both at street level and on the rooftops of buildings.

The system integrates data from sensors that measure the water level, rainfall forecast data provided by DTN and results from the KISTERS Real-Time Optimisation model (RTO). This information is sent to the cloud and can be continuously visualised and monitored from the datasphere platform. The system analyses the current state and the forecast data and sends commands to the installed control hardware, which is in charge of opening and closing the water outlet valve, to optimise water release operations during a rain event and water storage for passive irrigation.

Contact us for more information about datasphere and KISTERS.

KISTERS Ibérica. (2021). Youtube:
MITECO. Las infraestructuras verdes.
Permavoid. (2021). Blue-Green Roofs. Permavoid Projects:
Polypipe. (2021). Roof level innovation offers climate resilient vision for Manchester. Polypipe News:


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Juan José Benavente


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