Glasgow launches Europe's first 'smart canal' scheme

Glasgow City Council and project partners have marked the construction of Europe's first ever 'smart canal' scheme, using technology to mitigate flood risk.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said that the pioneering £17 million project will unlock 110 hectares across the north of the city for investment, regeneration and development, paving the way for more than 3,000 new homes.

The project, being delivered alongside Scottish Canals and Scottish Water will use sensor and predictive weather technology to provide early warning of wet weather before moving excess rainfall from residential and business areas into stretches of the canal where water levels have been lowered by as much as 10cm. This will create 55,000 cubic metres of extra capacity for floodwater - equivalent to 22 Olympic swimming pools.

Known as the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, the project will see North Glasgow passively absorb, clean and use rainfall intelligently, in what has been described as a ‘sponge city’. Before periods of heavy rain, canal water will be moved safely through a network of newly created urban spaces - from sustainable urban drainage ponds to granite channels - that absorb and manage water in a controlled way, creating space for surface water run-off.

Aitken said: "This is a fantastic day for Glasgow's Canal, as we mark the introduction of cutting-edge technology that will both allow surface water in this part of the city to be managed, and allow the building of new homes and businesses on land that historically has been unfit for development. It is very exciting to see such smart technology in operation in Glasgow - one of very few examples in the world - and we can look forward to it playing a key role in the continued regeneration of Glasgow's Canal and the north of the city."

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