News Releases 2020Experimental service to start on supporting countermeasures against flood, inundation

Tsukubamirai City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tepco Town Planning Co., Ltd. (TTP) and Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) on February 21, 2020 signed an accord concerning a demonstration experiment to provide a service to help the city cope with flooding and associated inundation. The experiment is designed to collect data on flooding and compile and verify disaster prevention measures centering on the dissemination of information based on the collected data. The experiment is to last one year from April 2020 to March 2021.

In recent years, cases of torrential rain hitting a narrow area for a short period of time are on the rise due to climate change, increasing the number of associated inundation cases in urban regions. The average annual number of bouts of torrential rain observed in a narrow area drastically increased from about 226 in the period of 1976-1985 (the earliest such data available) to about 327 during the decade of 2010-2019, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.*1 This represents a roughly 1.4-fold increase. It is, therefore, necessary to implement measures against floods and inundations to prevent disasters.

The demonstration experiment involves the visualization of the water level of sewer pipelines and that of water flooded aboveground – information that has been difficult to grasp thus far – by using internet of things (IoT) technologies. The data will then be shared on the cloud system, unifying such data for simplicity. The water level inside sewer pipelines will be detected via sensors installed under manholes, while the level aboveground will be determined via sensors installed on utility poles. The unified anti-disaster information (real-time observation data and water-level prediction information) will be used when making decisions on whether to require road blockades, detours and the installation of sandbags and water stop plates in Tsukubamirai City. Such information will be provided to citizens when deemed necessary.

It is the first undertaking in Japan to monitor both underground and aboveground water levels with the aim of preventing or mitigating disasters.

Tsukubamirai City, TTP and Meiden will try to prevent or mitigate disasters by capitalizing on the resources and technological strength each has during this experiment and contribute to developing a sustainable community in the future.

*1 Source: The annual number of cases when Japan received 50 mm or more of rainfall per hour in an area as observed by AMeDas (Automated Meteorological Data acquisition System).

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