Project Profile

Mobile weather stations and flood alerts

Duration : November 9, 2015 - November 8, 2016
(Extended to January 25, 2018)

This project examines the adoption and use of open-source mobile weather stations for reducing damages from flooding in Sri Lanka. Traditional methods of measuring rainfall intensity involve the reservoir manager taking a measure using a bucket and scale at the reservoir site several times a day. During prolonged spells of rainfall, this is often not convenient, or safe. Rainfall intensity can be measured using WHO-certified weather stations, but these are expensive to purchase and maintain; are not suitable for measurements at local scales. IWMI has developed and built a low-cost mobile weather station that measures rainfall intensity at local scales, using 100% open source hardware and software, and 100% local labor. About 80% of the parts are also locally sourced. The cost of developing each weather station unit is around USD 750, a fraction of the cost of a WHO-certified station. This weather station is equipped to measure rainfall intensity, and to send that information via SMS to seven mobile (cellular) numbers. It can be programmed to meet the information needs of the user. These units can be installed either in local government offices; or in field locations of hydrological importance near reservoirs.

Location(s): Sri Lanka
Project Contact: Balasubramanya, Soumya
Donor(s): World Bank

Farmers cultivating lettuce, while another farmer digs a small canal (marwa) with a donkey, Egypt. Photo: cc: Hamish John Appleby/IWMI