Challenge / Goal
Historically, a significant area of North Glasgow has been at risk of surface water flooding, limiting development potential across the area and therebye creating substantial amounts of vacant and derelict land. With local sewer systems at capacity, no natural watercourse in the area and climate change likely to increase the frequency and intensity of adverse weather events, a different approach to removing excess surface water was required.
After a decade of planning, the solution has been the Glasgow ‘Smart Canal’ Scheme, relying on sensors and predictive weather technology to dynamically manage water levels along the Forth & Clyde Canal allowing it to become a drainage route for excess surface water during high rainfall events. With early warning of wet weather, the water level in the canal can be lowered by up to 100 mm, isolating the North Glasgow section and moving excess water into the nearby River Kelvin.
This project was delivered as part of the 'Scotland's 8th City - the Smart City' ERDF programme. All seven cities involved in the programme are committed to 'community and citizen stakeholder engagement' as an additional programme output - with engagement required pre-, during, and post-project delivery.
For the Glasgow Smart Canal project, the following stakeholder engagement was noted:
The Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP) Partners (Scottish Canals, Scottish Water, SEPA), Glasgow City Council, Local community via the Woodside, Firhill & Hamiltonhill Development Framework ‘What Floats Your Boat’ design charrette.
Media event to mark formal signing of Drainage Partnership Agreement; Planner magazine article;
Idox online article;
Hydro Nation Annual Report;
Institution of Civil Engineers case study;
UK and Scottish Government City Deal delegation site visit on 18/09/19;
Croatian Smart Cities delegation site visit 25/09/19; and
Eurosite site visit co-ordinated by Scottish National Heritage on 02/10/19 including Dutch delegation.
The Smart Canal project is a winner of the following industry awards:
'Initiative of the Year' and the 'Industry Transformation and Innovation Champions' at the British Construction Industry Awards;
* ‘Greatest Contribution to Scotland’ at the Scottish Civil Engineering Awards - organised jointly by CECA Scotland and ICE Scotland;
* ‘Best Innovation/Demand Management Initiative’ at the APSE Public Service Excellence Awards; and
* ‘Sustainable Drainage & Flood Management Initiative of the Year’ at the Water Industry Awards.
* ‘Sustainability and Climate Change’ category at the E&T Innovation Awards 2021.
The project was also runner-up at the Institute of Water (Scotland) Innovation awards and the Digital Leaders 100 Awards 2022.
The Smart Canal was showcased at a COP26 event titled 'Re-imagining 18th century infrastructure to address flood risk, stimulate investment & tackle health inequalities'. This took place on 10/11/21 at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone.
Smart Canal presentations to the APSE Scotland Parks, Grounds & Streets advisory group meeting on 25/11/21 and Road Expo 2021 on 02/12/21.
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