IoT Extreme Weather Early Warning System

09.02.2022 by Pauline Batzer

Sensor early warning system on a beach

Due to global warming, extreme weather events are on the increase all over the world. An IoT solution developed by the U.S. startup divirod using Telekom’s LTE-M connectivity collects water data and issues early risk warnings.

Water masses that penetrate several kilometers inland from the coast, heavy rainfall that washes roads and basements away, buildings that collapse under the weight of masses of snow: A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms that global warming due to human activity and the climate change that accompanies it are the main causes of extreme weather events of this kind in all regions of the world. Water plays a central role because of its destructive force. Rising water temperatures in the oceans cause massive tornadoes, as in the south of the United States. Destructive floods increase the water level in countries like Bangladesh that are only a few meters above sea level.

Extreme weather events cause devastating damage in Germany too, most recently flooding in July 2021 in which over 180 people died. According to Deutschlandfunk radio, 30 billion euros is to be invested to help with reconstruction in the affected areas in the Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. To limit damage caused by extreme weather, early warning is to accompany combating climate change.

LTE-M: Early Warning System Records Water Data

A solution developed by divirod, a specialist in water infrastructure and analytics, and Deutsche Telekom provides an early warning of water risks. “As we saw most dramatically in Germany last year, water catastrophes can affect us all,” says Dennis Nikles, CEO Deutsche Telekom IoT GmbH. “With the digital solution from divirod and Telekom water levels can be tracked continuously, precisely and automatically.” Data collected can serve to make the long-term effects of climate change visible. “The technology helps us to think and act proactively and thereby, in the best case, prevent catastrophes or mitigate their consequences,” Nikles adds.

Divirod sensors continuously collect water data such as water levels, tides, snow, ice and rainfall all over the world. divirod customers receive this local, individual data in real time. Wireless modules with Telekom SIM cards in divirod’s sensors ensure swift data transmission. They transmit data via Deutsche Telekom’s global LTE-M network to the divirod cloud.

LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) is a wireless technology specially developed for the connectivity of applications on the Internet of Things (IoT). It scores points for low energy consumption, a wide range and a high level of availability in places where reception is difficult. Telekom's LTE-M is currently available with 27 partners in 20 countries worldwide to which more are continuously being added. Where LTE-M connectivity is not available the wireless module automatically falls back on 2G or LTE.


Measuring the Consequences of Global Warming

“Existing models lack sufficient water data for a precise risk forecast,” says Javier Marti, divirod’s founder and CEO. “We aim to create a water database that is as complete as possible. Our technology is highly scalable, inexpensive and can be used worldwide.”

The technology supports measuring the water level of reservoirs and rivers and collects data about powerful wave activities and possible coastal erosion. The early warning system is already in use around the world. In areas at risk sensors collect water data and issue extreme weather event warnings in Florida or help protect the cultural heritage of Venice in Italy. Drinking water storage area and reservoir data is collected in other regions of the United States and Europe.

Extreme Weather: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change

The LTE-M-based solution not only helps local authorities to issue extreme weather warnings; divirod RoofWatch’s smart sensors monitor round the clock the roofs of commercial properties, warehouses and residential real estate. Owners are notified automatically and in good time if there is too much water, snow or ice on the roof. That reduces to a minimum the danger of collapse and increases building safety. The technology also identifies clogged drains at an early stage.

“We achieve resilience if we are able to respond smartly and sustainably to the challenges of climate change,” says Marti. “Water data is the key to swift reactions, medium-term decisions and long-term planning.”


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Pauline Batzer
Pauline Batzer

Project Manager IoT

Since 2015, Pauline has been passionate about the variety of the IoT world. She has gained a lot of experience with the Internet of Things from different perspectives by working with customers, partners, and start-up companies. For the Telekom IoT blog she writes about technological trends, products, and innovations in the Internet of Things which are implemented in different industries.