Digital smart flood warning system


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

Surface water flooding is a growing problem across West Yorkshire, disrupting residents and businesses, causing damage, costs and safety risks. The current flood response is reactive rather than proactive and there is no early warning system in place.

This project, led by Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council, will investigate the use of connected places technology to develop a real time surface water flood warning system. This will identify flood risk sites and provide an early warning system for residents.

The warning system will allow flood teams to direct resources prior to flooding and communicate with communities at risk, thereby reducing the impact.

The project will assess the potential costs and benefits of using this system, and scope feasibility for their installation and data exchange. As flooding is a shared problem, this project proposes a shared solution across West Yorkshire.

Project outputs

This discovery project will enable knowledge exchange of the LoRaWaN network, including how the network connects with sensors, and how sensor data may communicate flood risk. The project will also investigate the viability of an early warning system for improved flood resilience.

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £97,000 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin a discovery phase.

May 2023

A member of the Wakefield project team has completed the Digital and Agile training course, and three more team members are booked for upcoming sessions.

The project team recently had a one-to-one session with Local Digital and are now arranging a project meeting on Teams to catch up with the rest of the team. This meeting will mark the beginning of the first team workshop, where they will define the precise scope of the project and create a shareable timeline. A full project start is expected to take place in early July.

July 2023

The project team recently held an update meeting to discuss the future scope and plans for the project. Following the meeting, they had a productive discussion with Phil and Kirk from Local Digital, which helped them gain better focus.

Before the end of July, the team will organise a face-to-face workshop to finalise the scope and create a roadmap with clear goals. However, they are considering delaying the project start date until after the summer school holidays to ensure the availability of the team.

The team is also developing a webpage on the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) website through West Yorkshire Flood Innovation Programme (WY FLIP), which will go live soon.

August 2023

The workshop held on 17 July at Leeds University, hosted by ICASP, was crucial for the project team to finalise the roadmap. Phil James and Kirk Robinson from the Local Digital team joined them and ‘provided useful insights into their expectations from a discovery phase project’.

In the upcoming sprint, the team will provide details of their first workshop related to the roadmap and focusing on service responders. After this, the team will be completing interviews with project team members to gain answers to questions asked from roadmap discussions.