LoRaWan deployed for drought alerts in New Zealand

The LoRaWan networking protocol is being used to anticipate and mitigate droughts in New Zealand and the South Pacific region.

Semi-conductor and advanced algorithm provider Semtech is collaborating with New Zealand’s IoT Ventures and global connectivity provider Lacuna Space to develop a drought early warning system.

Water monitoring

IoT Ventures has used Semtech’s LoRa devices to develop the system, a network comprising a low-cost rainwater tank and rain monitors to analyse water consumption and rain forecasts in remote New Zealand and South Pacific Island communities.

The water monitoring system features ultra-low power, small form-factor sensors, which are solar powered and provide an in-field life of seven- to 10 years without intervention, according to IoT Ventures.

The Drought Early Warning System will use Semtech’s long range-frequency hopping spread spectrum (LR-FHSS) satellite connectivity to seamlessly integrate with a terrestrial network using LoRaWan, delivering a flexible solution for isolated locations. It can be deployed and managed by local citizens without requiring substantial internet service provider (ISP) infrastructure.

“The remote location of many Pacific Island countries makes it challenging to provide emergency water supplies during droughts, and if an island runs out of water, it may take several weeks for water to be transported,” said Matt Hector-Taylor, co-founder, IoT Ventures, which deliver’s low-power remote end-to-end IoT solutions.

He added: “By combining low-cost sensors with LoRa and strong connectivity signal capabilities, the joint solution helps provide consistent access to clean drinking water for citizens of some of the most remote islands in the world, supports the United Nations Sustainability goals and reduces crisis response.”

Droughts threaten water supplies, and water waste is already a crucial issue worldwide. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that as much as 50 per cent of the water uses outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation and run-off caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.

By implementing a smart water monitoring infrastructure comprised of sensors and gateways using LoRa devices and the LoRaWan standard, governments and utility providers proactively and efficiently collect data to streamline operations to manage costs and appropriately allocate resources.

LoRa-enabled solutions can help to reduce water waste and quickly identify and optimise a community’s water distribution network.

“As climate change affects water availability worldwide, Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard help governments anticipate and mitigate water supply issues,” said Marc Pégulu, vice president of IoT product marketing and strategy for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “The Drought Early Warning System from IoT Ventures and Lacuna Space will provide communities scalable, highly-accurate resource management capabilities.”

Source: smartcitiesworld.net