Flash floods, with their rapidly rising water levels and all the destruction in their wake, are increasingly common scenarios worsened by climate change. These water hazards call for immediate and comprehensive solutions. 

FLOPRES (Flash Flood Prediction System), an initiative supported by the European Union, is designed to respond to the urgent need for preventive measures. This project aims to devise an integrated flood modeling, forecasting, early warnings, and data analysis system to predict and manage these natural disasters. 

MERATCH’s primary contribution to FLOPRES lies in providing essential hardware components and thus creating the digital infrastructure:

  • MERATCH Water Level Sensors
  • Rain gauges – Sensors for Rainfall Measurement
  • Humidity sensors – Sensors for Soil Moisture
  • Corvus devices for signal amplification, data integration and transmission
  • Flow Sense (potential future addition to monitor the volume of water flow)
Digital infrastructure consisting of MERATCH devices

These IoT devices will play a crucial role in data collection and transmission, enabling comprehensive flood monitoring and risk assessment.

After the initial kickoff of the FLOPRES project, a series of enlightening round table discussions were held. Local authorities, both in Slovakia and Poland, were brought into the dialogue, providing an open forum to delve into how the Slovak-Polish initiative would bolster their flood prevention strategies and foster resilience in their communities.

The 1st FLOPRES public event in Prešov organized by Prešovský samosprávny kraj , Source: www.flopres.eu

Following these productive discussions, it was time to turn talk into action:

  1. Successful Data Collection in the DALIA (Danube Lighhouse) Pilot: Prior to the official deployment of MERATCH Water Level Sensors in eastern Slovakia, we gathered valuable data in our sponsorship in EU project DALIA where MERATCH reliably reports discharges from a remote location at Kysuce region since May 2023.
Unique Flow Sense Meter measuring the volume of water flow, Source: Peter Gábriš
  1. Installation of MERATCH Water Level Sensors in eastern Slovakia

The next critical step was the installation of our IoT devices – MERATCH Water Level Sensors in Malá Poľana, Svidník, and 4 more locations nearby within the FLOPRES project framework. These sensors will continuously measure water levels in millimeters, providing real-time insights.

Our experience from installing the first 6 sensors indicates that a team of two can complete the entire installation, including setup and activation, in less than 20 minutes, which is remarkably efficient.

  1. Data Transmission and Analysis: The collected data is transmitted to our IoT hub, which is then relayed to Esprit, another FLOPRES member responsible for data evaluation. Esprit will analyze the data to derive meaningful information for flood risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
Data retrieved from the installed MERATCH Water Level Sensors in Malá Poľana

Data collected by river gauges, measuring flow and water level, plays a vital role in Esprit’s hydrological modeling. This real-world information acts as a dual benefit. Firstly, it allows Esprit to calibrate their models, ensuring they accurately represent the specific behaviors of a particular watershed. Think of it as fine-tuning the model for a specific location.

This data helps build realistic scenarios within the models. By incorporating historical flow and level information, Esprit can simulate how a watershed responded to past events, like extreme weather. This knowledge then becomes the foundation for predicting how the same area might react to similar challenges in the future.

Additionally, the MERATCH sensors serve as a safeguard on bridges when flood risks are underestimated by the model, adding an extra layer of security.

MERATCH Water Level Sensor installed on the bridge using radar signals to measure the water level

Our goal is to expand the network of sensors and data collection points across 60 villages by February 2025. This expansion will empower us to monitor better and predict flood events, aiding local authorities in making more informed decisions.

Our active participation in the FLOPRES project symbolizes our commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change. By leveraging our IoT hardware and data analytics, we are striving to build resilient communities ready to respond to flash floods together with all the members of the FLOPRES project and the local authorities.

Stay tuned for our next achievements in the FLOPRES project!

The FLOPRES project is implemented jointly by Slovak and Polish partners, which are: