Why Smart Monitoring should be part of your flood risk strategy

10th March 2020

How water management projects providing flood protection can benefit from up-to-date real-world data.

Flooding can be of real concern for the owners of sites and for those who build and manage facilities for these owners. Flooding can impact the site and beyond. It may cause problems downstream, leading to environmental, financial and compliance issues.

Smart monitoring can help you to manage the risk of flooding proactively.

Flood risk strategies are a way of preparing for the threat faced by a site. This could be for a commercial or residential development, for example, or perhaps an industrial or construction site. These strategies look at whether the right protection is in place. They also set out what response is needed if a flood threatens or actually occurs, and there may well be a legal requirement to have such a strategy in place.

Smart monitoring can enhance flood risk strategies

Flood risk strategies can also look at the consequences of what may happen downstream of a site:

  • Would uncontrolled run-off contribute to flooding?
  • What happens if infrastructure on the site fails to perform as expected?
  • Would flooding lead to excessive levels of sediment being washed from a construction site?
  • Is there a risk that stored oil or chemicals could be released?

Smart monitoring can be used to make sure a site’s flood risk strategy delivers an adequate and effective response to flooding.

Smart monitoring devices take measurements for parameters such as rainfall, water levels, and flow rates. They can automatically transmit data so that it can be received and processed by software and presented to site managers, often in a graphical form, so they can make informed decisions and action plans.

Smart monitoring doesn’t need to be an afterthought

In addition to being part of the strategy for dealing with flooding, smart monitoring can be used to create the strategy itself. Smart monitoring systems can be applied to a site in advance of the construction of new project, and historic data about the immediate area may also be available. 

A smart management approach delivers the data needed to build up a much more accurate picture of what actually happens at a site. The data can be used in flood mapping and flood modelling to better understand when and where action is needed to manage the risks.

As for the cost of implementing smart water monitoring, the smart devices themselves can be powered reliably by battery. This can be coupled with remote data transmission similar to that used extensively now in mobile phones. The result is that significant costs associated with wired connections can be avoided, in addition to which users can view data using web browsers.


The data provided by smart monitoring can give a flood risk strategy an intelligent edge. Smart monitoring empowers owners and users to make informed decisions and respond to flooding proactively, rather than reactively. By incorporating smart monitoring into the project at the initial stages, a return on investment can be realised more quickly and flooding can be mitigated more effectively.


  • Smart monitoring can provide an up-to-date picture of exactly what is happening at a site, ensuring the right response can be implemented to mitigate a flood incident.
  • Smart monitoring can build up a site-specific picture of what happens at a site during flood conditions, supporting planning for future incidents.
  • Smart monitoring therefore aids and enhances the design and implementation of flood risk strategies.