Bosch Munitech introduces IoT technology for drought management in the Western Cape

The current drought in the Western Cape is reported to be the worst in 100 years, with severe water shortages being experienced across the province. The Berg River is a key source of water for the City of Cape Town, surrounding towns and the agricultural activity along the river.

The Department of Water and Sanitation requires that all agricultural abstractions from the Berg River be metered and all flowmeter readings must be readily accessible in a database. As a result, the Lower Berg Irrigation Board appointed Bosch Munitech to implement a compliance metering and monitoring system on 125 abstraction points along the river between Sonquasdrift and Velddrift.

The Krohne Waterflux electromagnetic range of flowmeters was chosen for its suitability in disparate, privately owned, installations where there is no commonality. A particular advantage of this meter is that it maintains accuracy without the need for perfect upstream and downstream flow conditions and can tolerate being installed directly against valves and fittings found in existing installations.

To get measurement data from the 125 abstraction points to a central database, an alternative to the traditional GSM approach was used. Instead, a purpose-built “Internet of Things” (IoT) communications platform and Pylot web-based data management portal was used in what is believed to be the first application of its type in South Africa. The Pylot portal allows users to conveniently view and export the flowmeter data online from mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

The web-based application overcomes the usual challenges of high costs of installation and SIM card management, as well as unreliability of signal coverage

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