Open storm: a complete framework for sensing and control of urban watersheds†
Leveraging recent advances in technologies surrounding the Internet of Things, “smart” water systems are poised to transform water resources management by enabling ubiquitous real-time sensing and control. Recent applications have demonstrated the potential to improve flood forecasting, enhance rainwater harvesting, and prevent combined sewer overflows. However, adoption of smart water systems has been hindered by a limited number of proven case studies, along with a lack of guidance on how smart water systems should be built. To this end, we review existing solutions, and introduce open storm—an open-source, end-to-end platform for real-time monitoring and control of watersheds. Open storm includes (i) a robust hardware stack for distributed sensing and control in harsh environments (ii) a cloud services platform that enables system-level supervision and coordination of water assets, and (iii) a comprehensive, web-based “how-to” guide, available on open-storm.org, that empowers newcomers to develop and deploy their own smart water networks. We illustrate the capabilities of the open storm platform through two ongoing deployments: (i) a high-resolution flash-flood monitoring network that detects and communicates flood hazards at the level of individual roadways and (ii) a real-time stormwater control network that actively modulates discharges from stormwater facilities to improve water quality and reduce stream erosion. Through these case studies, we demonstrate the real-world potential for smart water systems to enable sustainable management of water resources.