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This work was inspired by the monsoon floods and the devastation they cause to rural northern Malaysia. In this work, we developed a centralized water management system that would help authorities manage and control the flow of water in canals, reviews, and water streams, thus mitigating the effects of floods and reduce their damage.
The first step in this project was to automate the watergates controlling the flow of water; in Malaysia, that was the weir watergate, shown below. The opening and closing mechanism were actuated through an electric motor and a gearing system to control the torque and opening speed. Through an elaborate set of sensors, the water level was measured and compared against a pre-determined max level. So based on the water level, the gate would automatically open or close, an override button was also present, to allow operators to open/close the gate regardless of water level.
Next, the automated gate was linked to the cloud through a dedicated IoT framework to allow for remote monitoring and controlling. The gate would broadcast its data (water level, gate status, and other parameters) to operators at the control HQ. Therefore, operators can monitor the status of water and the gate in real-time, and can choose to intervene if they need to (remotely opening/closing the gate).
By expanding to multiple automated gates, spread out over a large geographical area, with each gate broadcasting its own data, (water level, wind speed, temperature, etc.), and aggregating this data through a dedicated DA algorithm, a Centralized System for water management is born. This project won the GOLD medal & award for innovation at the 2018 International Innovation, Invention & Technology Exhibition (ITEX2018). As well as other Best awards on National and University levels.