The Oxford Flood Network is a project built in partnership with Nominet UK and ThingInnovations, demonstrating Internet of Things technologies in the city of Oxford. Comprising a number of wireless water level sensors it detects levels of water around the city to visualise flooding and river conditions.

The sensor network design gives a much higher spatial resolution than the Environment Agency's network, and at a tiny fraction of the cost, making it suitable for temporary deployment for catchment studies, community projects and site-specific monitoring. It provides extra detail to fill in the overall picture of flooding in Oxford during an event.

It’s good to find a company that is actually improving people’s lives, implementing innovative technology
— Adam Leach, Director of R&D, Nominet

Visualisation and Device Monitoring

An application frontend shows waterway segments and allows thresholds to be set on each sensor for high, normal and low water levels. It brings in sensor readings from the Environment Agency's API to complete the broader picture across the city.

The software, part of Nominet's Internet of Things platform, also simplifies real-time device management, applying years of network deployment and monitoring expertise to the troubleshooting of sensor readings in multi-technology networks.

prototype Sensor Device

prototype Sensor Device


The hardware is custom-made and open-sourced, and has been developed with ThingInnovations from a basic proof-of-concept through to low-volume production devices. Our first sensors use ultrasound to measure the distance to a water surface from an overhang.

The wireless sensor network demonstrates use of low-power ISM-band and TV Whitespace wireless equipment for economical sensor deployment, and uses native IP and MQTT where possible to make a robust telemetry system.

Find Out More

If you'd like to understand how we built the system get in touch using the contact page, we'd be happy to explore the possibilities.

For more information visit or Twitter at @flood_network