Did you know that Sunderland Smart City is deploying sensors across Sunderland to enable real-time measurement of environmental conditions? As part of this project, we spotted an opportunity to deploy new rainfall buckets to help anticipate surface water and flooding in Sunderland.

Until recently, the team at Sunderland City Council collected rainfall data by visiting rainfall bucket sites and manually exporting historic rainfall data. With our new smart solution, rainfall buckets connected to our LoRaWAN network report on precipitation in near real-time, saving time for teams collecting data, and helping us make better, data-informed decisions. The rainfall data is used for flood modelling, to provide storm frequencies and better understand flooding in the south of the city and the Coalfields.


Sunderland Smart City is now piloting new solar-powered rainfall buckets to measure rain levels around the city. Through our smart LoRaWAN network, these newly deployed devices record and share rainfall data every 15 minutes.

The data from our newly deployed devices is then combined with Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) data and fed into our Smart City Platform, where users can view rainfall trends over time and use 3D mapping tools to explore the impact of rain across the city.

The Smart City Platform is a comprehensive data platform that aggregates data from across the council’s assets including sensors, networks as well as third-party sources, including DEFRA. This flexible approach to data management enables new insights, outcomes and automations to be derived that would not otherwise be possible through a traditional silo driven approach.

This solution was deployed through the city council’s strategic joint venture partnership with global telecommunications experts BAI Communications.


By supporting teams to understand rainfall in near real-time, proactive warnings and interventions can be enabled. For example, accessing real-time data on abnormal rainfall can alert services to storm events.

The deployment of these sensors has also created new efficiencies: time which would have been spent by the Sunderland City Council team manually collecting data can now be spent on other duties.