- Problem Statement: Christchurch has challenges with local flooding, particularly in residential areas, and CCC seeks to engage and enable citizens to make more informed decisions in regards to changing river levels in flood prone areas.
- Current Solution: We have developed a simple web app, FloodSafe, for checking the water level real-time and sending her alert when it has risen above a dangerous threshold. By going onto our web app, the user can enter her cellphone number with us, and he/she can see the real time water level data every five minutes. The app displays water level with a simple colour coded animation. If the level reaches a critical threshold, the colour would turn red and the user would receive an alert text message from us. Super simple and saves the user a few trips on a raining cold winter nights in the dark. Also, when the user is away from home during the flooding event, with the text alert and web app, he/she could stay aware and potentially ask his/her neighbours to take care of the cat if the situation worsens.
- Persona and Scenario: We built our solution with users like Jane in mind. Jane is a 45 year old single mother with two primary school girls, a cat and a goldfish, who works as a music teacher from home. She has lots going on in her life but also tries to go to church when she can and doing crafting as a hobbie. Unfortunately, the house she bought was badly damanged in the earthquake and is in the process of getting rebuilt, as a result she is currently staying in a temproary rental property in flood prone area of St Albans. With all that is going on in Jane's life, she cannot afford to be flooded repeatedly. Sadly she has already been flooded twice this year, to make sure this doesn't happen again, Jane would need to check the water level every few minutes. It is late at night, she is really tired but it has been raining heavily since yesterday. Being a reasonably tech savy person, Jane would really benefit from a reliable source updating her the water level and helping her to decide whether to move her belongings or rebook clients, without a walk into the cold rain.
- In to the Future: In addition to the text alert, we could trigger cell phone alarm if we continue developing the app in IOS or Android. This would be especially useful if the phone is on silent mode during the night. In future, we intend to forecast the impact of the flood to each household. By using ground elevation data, river data from Ecan, and weather data from Met service combining with the sensor data collected by CCC, the user would be able to see if the rain continues in the next hour, his or her front lawn would be underwater, and in two hours’ time the garage will be flooded. Flooding in the front garden might not be a concern for many people comparing to flooding in the living room. Therefore, we also plan to add capability that the user can define a certain area within the property boundary and receive alerts when predicted flood water reaches the defined area.
Flooding is a worldwide problem. As of 8th July, 11 out of 23 provinces of China are heavily affected by flooding, 31 million people were affected by the event, of which 164 died and 25 were unaccounted for. Moreover, the annual rate of sea level rise over the past 20 years is about twice of the rate for the preceding 80 years. A tool like ours can clearly benefit more people outside of the Flockton Basin and with our current setup, the tool can be easily applied to other cities in the world.
- Who we are:
- James Houden - software developer
- Vicky Li - data analyst
- Tim Hong - software developer
- Kenneth D'souza - software developer