Construction of Europe’s first ever ‘smart canal’ scheme, which uses the 250-year-old Forth & Clyde Canal and 21st century technology to mitigate flood risk as well as enable massive regeneration, is now underway in Glasgow.
The pioneering new digital surface water drainage system unlocks 110 hectares across the north of the city for investment, regeneration and development, paving the way for more than 3000 new homes.
The £17m project is being delivered via a partnership of Glasgow City Council, Scottish Canals and Scottish Water under the umbrella of the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme. The project 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.
Officially named the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, the project to create a so-called ‘sponge city’ – a term used to describe how cities respond to surface water flooding – will see North Glasgow passively absorb, clean and use rainfall intelligently. Advanced warning of heavy rainfall will automatically trigger a lowering of the canal water level to create capacity for surface water run-off.
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.