Building An Intelligent Drainage System to Prevent Urban Flooding

In recent years, the escalation of extreme weather phenomena worldwide, fueled by ongoing global warming, has exacerbated climate disasters such as flooding.

Across the world, regions prone to frequent typhoons and heavy rainfall experience heightened flood risks. Many cities struggle to cope with sudden heavy precipitation due to deficiencies in their drainage infrastructure, resulting in problems such as waterlogged streets and flooded subway stations. Residents suffer from many inconveniences, including risks of property damage and injuries.

As a global leader in the field of automation, OMRON has long been committed to creating"innovation driven by social needs" through automation to empower people. In response to the pressing issue of urban flooding, OMRON is actively exploring innovative solutions to preserve the ecological balance of the earth and promote sustainable development of society.

Navigating the Urgency of Urban Drainage

According to recent statistics, flooding has affected 52.789 million people in China throughout the year, resulting in direct economic losses totaling 244.57 billion RMB.

In order to mitigate flooding impacts, the Chinese authorities advocate for accelerating the establishment of a comprehensive urban drainage and flood prevention system that emphasizes 'source reduction, pipeline discharge, integrated storage and drainage, as well as emergency response protocols.'

Leveraging its three-decade presence in China, OMRON aims to contribute to flood prevention in Chinese cities by establishing a comprehensive intelligent urban drainage system, drawing upon its expertise in the field of automation.

Exploring the Causes of Waterlogging

To address the drainage and flood prevention challenges in City H, OMRON made collaborative efforts with relevant departments to ensure alignment on the construction of an effective drainage system.

OMRON started with the tunnel industry based on its mature business operation and technical expertise in the field. Through extensive technical discussions and consultations with design institutes, owners, and partners, OMRON identified the urgent need to prevent and reduce urban tunnel flooding through enhancing the intelligentization and digitalization of urban tunnels and supporting drainage pumping stations.

Creating 'Tools' to Strengthen Integration

During the construction, OMRON conducted in-depth research to achieve data sharing, early scientific warning, and integrated multi-party management of the intelligent drainage system.

"However, in China, there are limited proven cases of urban intelligent drainage systems." As the head of the Smart City Division, Zhu Liuqiao was under pressure. "Our team not only had to fully communicate with multiple stakeholders, but also encountered technical challenges such as solution formulation, software development, and hardware development."

Zhu Liuqiao continued, "But we were not discouraged. Everyone brimmed with confidence and responded actively. Leveraging our expertise in presenting professional proposals and rich experiences in project innovation, we facilitated multiple discussions with stakeholders and reached a consensus on the approach to resolving the issues." The primary challenges in software design stem from the large number of devices and the absence of standardized interface protocols in intelligent drainage systems. "We engaged in extensive discussions and repeated technical testing with partners to ensure the stability, reliability, and security of the intelligent drainage system." In terms of hardware, the team supplemented third-party system hardware, established selection principles, and conducted multidimensional evaluations of system requirements, finally enabling the successful development of the urban intelligent drainage system. "Now, all our efforts have paid off, and everyone is filled with excitement!"


During the implementation of the intelligent drainage system, OMRON fully leveraged its strengths in sensing, control, AI, and other technologies, offering core technical support for the urban tunnel management platform through data services and value creation. To mitigate and prevent future disasters in City H, OMRON has implemented the following measures to tackle the existing challenges of low integration and decentralized management in the drainage system:

  • Platform scheduling and remote coordination allows the intelligent management of the drainage system, enabling real-time monitoring of drainage facilities and timely response to problem-solving, thereby improving overall efficiency.
  • Through measures such as energy conservation, emission reduction, optimization of resource allocation, OMRON has achieved a 30% reduction in operating costs, resulting in improvements in economic efficiency and environmental protection.
  • Automated management of 51 drainage pumping stations in City H has been accomplished through the utilization of automation control and remote monitoring technology, thus optimizing human resources while improving operation efficiency and management standards.
  • A comprehensive monitoring and warning system provides full-scale supervision of the urban drainage network, promptly detecting and alerting potential risks and hazards to safeguard the safety of residents and their property.
1429_4.jpgIntelligent Drainage Management Platform Built by OMRON

Ushering in the Era of Smart Cities

The project aims for City H to become 'intelligent', 'green', 'efficient', and 'safe', promoting a more scientific approach to urban flooding prevention management while greatly reducing operational costs. Intelligent management systems have been implemented in urban tunnels and drainage pumping stations alongside continuous early warning monitoring to enable precise flood prevention measures. By utilizing OMRON's technology and scientific early warning, Cities like City H have successfully transitioned from automated management to intelligent and digital management in urban infrastructure construction to achieve efficient flood prevention.

1429_5.jpgUrban Tunnel Drainage

Reflecting on the successful application of OMRON's Intelligent Urban Drainage Solution in City H, Zhu Liuqiao, head of the Smart City Division, commented, 'OMRON is committed to helping cities achieve intelligent and sustainable drainage management through innovative technologies and comprehensive solutions. We strive to not only address current challenges but also lay the groundwork for future urban development. We hope that our efforts in effectively addressing challenges such as climate change and environmental protection will make our city a better place to live.'

The development of intelligent urban drainage system is an ongoing journey that requires continuous exploration and innovation. In the future, OMRON is dedicated to implementing its new long-term vision 'Shaping the Future 2030' and adhering to its corporate philosophy of 'Contributing to a Better Society'. OMRON will continue to optimize intelligent urban drainage solutions and applications, promote sustainable development of cities, and improve people's lives.