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Automated water level control

04 February 2019

The Dyke and Main Sluice Association (DHSV) responsible for flood protection on the Eiderstedt Peninsula is also in charge of safeguarding the interests of local agriculture and nature conservation: While farmers require dry, arable land for cultivation in summer, a number of endangered bird species need higher water levels to enable nest building. The solution: a smart drainage concept based on a centrally monitored automation system.

The technology used to achieve the industrial communication needed for the system comes from the Scalance portfolio from Siemens. Modern water level management not only helps to “keep the peace” between farmers and bird conservationists, it also makes the job of monitoring and maintaining the flood protection systems far easier for the DHSV.

Bird conservationists and farmers had been at loggerheads for some time on the North Sea Eiderstedt Peninsula. The conservation lobby was calling for relatively high water levels in summer as habitat for bird species such as the Black Tern, while farmers required conditions which were as dry as possible for cultivating their crops. The peninsula’s sluice gates which control the water level are operated by the DHSV, which was faced with the conundrum of satisfying the needs of both parties. Although a certain water level had been agreed back in 2013 for particular areas, putting this agreement into practice was highly complex. 

“On every rainfall event in the summer months, employees of the DHSV had to control the drainage as a function of the measured water levels manually. This was a lot of work for us and we still did not have publically accessible water level records,” recalls Jan-Jürgen-Rabeler, Head Dyke Warden at DHSV. A smart, automated water management system promised to ease this workload. The measurement, control, regulation and telecontrol technology used to implement the system comes from Siemens.

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA

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