TechnologyMay 18, 2023

Mitigating extreme climates through IoT remote monitoring

Flood warning and notification in low-lying areas, and river level monitoring.

IoT remote monitoring is achieved using a data logger that provides a powerful tool and enables applications to become more intelligent and versatile. It can easily function as a data acquisition device to query PLCs and transmit information through NB-IOT/Cat-M1, lowering the cost of equipment construction and maintenance.

Smart monitoring systems are increasingly being deployed in areas susceptible to heavy summer rainfall, such as river embankments and low-lying regions, to mitigate the risk of flooding caused by rising sea levels and global warming. Additionally, these systems are being utilized to address water scarcity issues that arise from prolonged periods of drought.

Using Taiwan as a case study, it can be observed that the country is completely encircled by the ocean. During the summer season, intense typhoons often result in regional flooding, while prolonged dry spells can lead to low reservoir levels, posing a threat to the livelihoods of the populace.

Consequently, the Taiwanese government has been confronted with the challenges of monitoring floods and implementing emergency measures to address drought situations.

Developing a water supply system for dry season water storage tanks.

Developing a water supply system for dry season water storage tanks.

The Challenges

Temporary Water Stations for Livelihoods during the Dry Season: However, low water levels and insufficient water pressure in some reservoirs can prevent water delivery to households.

To address this issue, local governments set up numerous temporary water storage stations that rely on tanker trucks for transportation.

Nevertheless, monitoring the water quantity data of these temporary stations poses a challenge. Inspection can only be done manually, resulting in higher labor costs and significant reporting delays.

Enhancing Flood Control Measures with River Embankment Gates and Drainage Facilities: River embankment pumping stations are typically unmanned facilities that rely on fuel-operated drainage equipment. However, the risk of fuel shortages during critical drainage needs requires manual patrolling and supervision, resulting in labor-intensive and time-consuming processes that come with additional costs.

Designing a Reporting and Warning System for Accumulated Water in Low-Lying Areas: Heavy rainfall can cause disasters such as water accumulation in low-lying areas. Instant flooding in these regions necessitates swift notification and evacuation to prevent the disaster from escalating.

Notification systems and on-site warnings can alert drivers to flooded areas, saving lives and ensuring safety. However, the sites for these systems are primarily located outdoors, exposing equipment to wide temperature variations that can damage it over time. Additionally, wired communication systems are challenging to use effectively due to the large area that needs to be covered.


Challenges Solutions Benefits
Wired system deployment is not easy Using wireless technology such as NB-IOT, Cat-M1 cellular base stations, remote control can be applied anywhere where a mobile phone can receive a signal. Reduced infrastructure construction costs
Personnel maintenance and management are not easy NB-IOT and Cat-M1 simplify data volume with low monthly fee. Reduced maintenance labor costs
Device power management LPWA devices are designed for low power consumption and can enter sleep mode Reduced equipment power costs
Sensor power consumption management Sensor power consumption is often ignored, so the LPWA Device must include sensor power management.
Difficulty obtaining on-site electricity Battery or solar power solution
Remote control requirements The collector needs to be able to receive commands from the control center to control DO and Modbus commands. Remote monitoring and control
Immediately judge and react after acquiring data The event function can set the threshold to link digital out and shorten the upload cycle.
Resistant to harsh outdoor environments Waterproof and able to function in wide temperature ranges, waterproof grade of IP65, and temperature resistance of -30 ~ 70°C Stable operation in harsh environments.

Through the analysis in the table above, we can discover solutions corresponding to derivative technologies under environmental constraints.

Deals with the fuel management of forced drainage equipment situated in low-lying areas.

Deals with the fuel management of forced drainage equipment situated in low-lying areas.


Below are three case studies showcasing intelligent disaster response systems developed by government agencies to address drought and flood control during extreme weather conditions.

Case 1: Developing a Water Supply System for Dry Season Water Storage Tanks

When the reservoir’s water level is low, there is not enough water pressure to distribute it to different areas, causing a shortage of water supply.

As a solution, local governments set up large water storage containers in various locations around the countrty to temporarily meet the demand for water.

These storage containers are equipped with remote monitoring systems that transmit real-time water level data to the water supply unit. Upon receiving an alert for water shortage, the water supply unit dispatches a water truck to refill the storage container on site.

How does this system work?

Upon awakening from sleep mode every 10 minutes, the EtherWAN EDGE-2 Device equipped with NB-IOT/CAT-M1 will retrieve water data from temporary area water supply storage tanks. Subsequently, the data will be transmitted to the cloud either via MQTT or AZURE/AWS. Once the cloud program analyzes the data, it will send a notification to the water tanker to refill the storage tanks.

Case 2: Deals with the fuel management of forced drainage equipment situated in low-lying areas

In unmanned flood control pumping stations used as drainage systems, monitoring the fuel tank level is crucial. Fuel levels can decrease over time due to natural volatilization or frequent usage, and it is essential to manage them by remotely monitoring the fuel levels for maintenance purposes.

How does this system work?

The EtherWAN EDGE-2 Device monitors diesel fuel storage levels every hour and queries the PLC pressure gauge data via RS485/Modbus. The gathered data is then transmitted to the cloud via NB-IOT/Cat-M1 using MQTT or AZURE/AWS. The cloud system analyzes the data and dispatches personnel for refueling as required.

In the past, diesel storage levels were recorded manually, but with the EtherWAN EDGE-2 Device capturing data via the cloud, maintenance and labor requirements are streamlined.

Case 3: Flood warning and notification in low-lying areas, and river water level monitoring

In abnormal weather, sudden heavy rains often lead to water accumulation in low-lying areas, seriously endangering people’s lives. Therefore, the low-lying flood warning notification system allows for on-site remote monitoring and emergency response to prevent flood disasters in real time. How does this system work?

The water level monitoring equipment in low-lying areas is equipped with the EDGE 2, which is typically in low-power sleep mode. It wakes up every ten minutes to retrieve data from AI/DI/RS-485 sensors, which is then uploaded via NB-IOT/CAT-M1. The EDGE Device system concurrently checks if there is any flooding on the site, and if detected, alerts personnel not to enter and close the flood barriers. The data capture and upload interval has been reduced to every 5 minutes, enabling disaster prevention and control to be carried out more promptly.

Moreover, this flood control mechanism has extended river water level monitoring capabilities, which functions similarly to detect the water level and immediately trigger an alarm when the river water approaches the warning level. This helps to reduce the occurrence of disasters.

Note: The EDGE Solution includes 50AH 3.6V battery power configuration. The voltage is boosted to 12 volts through the power control board and supplied to the sensor; when the EDGE-2 enters sleep mode, it will stop providing power to the sensor to achieve power saving.


The EDGE2 data logger is a powerful tool that enables applications to become more intelligent and versatile. It can easily function as a data acquisition device to query PLCs and transmit information through NB-IOT/Cat-M1. As wireless transmission is employed, there are no challenges associated with wired deployment.

Furthermore, the EDGE2 data logger utilizes the low-rate cellular base station of the ISP for data transmission, enabling it to operate in any area with mobile phone signal coverage. This not only simplifies transmission, but also significantly lowers the cost of equipment construction and maintenance.

Technology article by EtherWAN