Dutch app to preserve and protect water supply

Researchers at Delft Technical University (TU Delft), in the Netherlands, have come up with a smart low-tech system to help monitor irrigation-water levels and control water theft and corruption.

Mobile Canal Control

Their system, Mobile Canal Control, is in the final stages of testing and is operated via an app on a smartphone. Canals and open water networks throughout the world serve to transport water for irrigation and for drainage and are often controlled manually by an operator. In order to match irrigation supply and demand as closely as possible, over-supply of at least 10% is commonplace, so as to have water available at all locations, at all times, within the water network. Another issue with manually-operated canals is that operators can be bribed to provide more water to certain users and water is often illegally tapped from the system. The new smart phone app serves as interface between canal, operator, and central controller. Basically, the operator takes a picture of the gate, showing the water level, and sends it, with the precise GPS-coordinates, into a central system where the precise new settings for the gate are calculated, registered and sent back. Once the gate has been adjusted accordingly, a picture of the new water level is taken as confirmation.