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Smart water tanks for rain harvesting and flood alleviation

Team:  Thomas Rowan, Adrian Butler and David Balmforth

Partners: David Balmforth

Objectives: Develop and demonstrate an integrated water management system for community and private gardens. Using smart water tanks for runoff collection and water supply based on an open-source modular platform that can be adapted for existing water butts.


This project has five parts to it:

  1. Create user friendly tools than enable private and community stakeholders to assess the environmental, economic and timesaving effects of a smart water butt system.

  2. Develop and prototype easy to use hardware that is resilient and at the lowest possible price point for the consumer/stakeholder.

  3. Enable smart irrigation that operates while considering past and future weather conditions to maximise plant growth and minimise water use.

  4. Deploy low cost moisture detection systems across the SWB network to monitor the efficacy of predictions.

  5. Leverage the SWB’s flood attenuation abilities to help engage larger stakeholders in the sewage system to promote and subsidise the project.

Activities to date:

  • Lab development and prototyping

  • Proof of concept installation

  • Scoping for a social enterprise



  • Prototype smart water tank design and mobile app

  • Online design and assessment tools for private and communal gardens.

  • Field demonstrations in private and communal gardens

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