Gauging stations deployed as part of DEFRA funded FCRIP programme

Resilient Together, New FCRIP (Flood and coastal resilience innovation programme) Website Launched


Launched on the last day of March 2024, the new Resilient Together website provides visitors with an insight into the challenges faced by the team in tackling both flooding and poor water quality along the Pix Brook, a  tributary of the river Ivel, that straddles the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire border.

FCRIP project and Radio data Networks

The Pix is one of only 200 chalk streams in the world, of which 170 are in the UK. Chalk streams are unique ecosystems where the waters are fed by a combination of both surface runoff and groundwater. This combination means that the Pix like many other chalk streams can have some of the purest waters and equally at times some of the most polluted too. It can also be flashy, one minute almost dry in summer and the next a raging torrent during a storm, with a long history of causing flooding. Hence, it was selected by DEFRA for a funding award as part of its FCRIP programme.

Radio Data Networks is proud to have a strategic involvement in the programme. This includes  providing a range of innovative gauging*1 solutions and a live dashboard with 5-minute data correlated in real-time against rainfall. Uniquely, the system uses a hybrid of radio telemetry and Iridium satellite communications to overcome some of the recent and ongoing issues experienced by the telemetry community as the cellular networks abandon 2G and 3G technology in favour of 4G and 5G.

River gauging station

Example of retrofit temporary gauging staion installed along the Pix Brook during 2022

In addition to its portable gauges, the team at RDN have also provided bespoke retrofit sensors to follow the movement of flood control gates on the storage reservoir and gauges to assess the efficacy of existing SuDS interventions. The latter includes  one of the more recently constructed attenuation ponds along the Pix at Stotfold. The strategy here is to assess its net contribution to the Pix’s peak flows with a view to later creating a smart inhibit for the discharge whenever the level in the Pix exceeds a yet to be determined level.

Retrofit Attenuation Pond Flow Gauge With V-Notch Weir

Retrofit Attenuation Pond Flow Gauge With V-Notch Weir

Collectively the data is currently being used by the team’s hydrologists and academics along with flow models to better understand the dynamics of the Pix. Ultimately the data will also be used to inform decisions concerning investments into additional SuDS, NFM, pollution reduction and smart network control strategies over the remining years of the programme.

*1 Awarded “Silver” award in the IET innovation awards 2022 for the innovative hybridisation of terrestrial telemetry, satellite telemetry, microwave level gauges into a portable gauging station for the delivery of live flood data.

More information can also be found on Central Bedfordshire Council Webiste