The Internet of Things (IoT) serving environmental protection

Over the past few years, the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded in the field of environmental protection. Applications for monitoring extreme weather conditions, forest fires, water safety, and the protection of endangered species have emerged. How has IoT become an ally for environmental protection and how does it contribute to combating climate change?

The forestry sector facing climate challenges

Climate change has a considerable impact on the weather patterns and natural balance of our planet. Rising temperatures promote forest fires, disrupt rainfall patterns, and increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as storms and floods. According to a report by the United Nations, the number of extreme weather events is expected to increase to around 560 per year by 2030. In the face of these challenges, IoT is a key tool for improving environmental monitoring, analysis, and detection of environmental changes.

Thanks to the connectivity offered by cellular IoT, a wide range of sensors can be deployed to monitor and analyze the environment. This allows for a better understanding of soils, trees, and weather conditions. In-depth analysis of this data facilitates environmental control and contributes to informed decision-making. Innovative initiatives have already been put in place, such as Rainforest Connection, which uses IoT sensors in tropical forests to combat illegal logging. Through collaboration with a research organization, the company has facilitated meticulous monitoring of endangered species. They have succeeded in locating animals using acoustic sensors, thus helping to prevent their extinction.

Cellular IoT technologies offer extensive coverage, even in the most remote and densely populated areas, such as forests. The forestry sector is undergoing transformation, particularly due to the increasing adoption of connected tools. Cellular IoT sensors allow for the automation of data collection, which was previously a manual and time-consuming task, while being manageable remotely. The integration of these sensors enables safer and more effective decision-making in forest management, within shorter timeframes, and even anticipation of threats such as fires.

IoT for early detection of fires

Traditional methods of fire monitoring, such as satellite images and ground cameras, have proven to be inadequate in addressing the rapid spread of forest fires, which is faster due to drought. IoT sensors offer a more effective solution by detecting fire outbreaks in real time and alerting the relevant authorities. Companies like SylviaCare have developed IoT solutions using infrared sensors, connected via LTE-M, to precisely detect and geolocate forest fires, enabling a quick and targeted response.

LTE-M and NB-IoT are LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) technologies characterized by their long range and low energy consumption. IoT devices using these networks benefit from better penetration and can communicate with other devices, even in difficult-to-reach areas. Thanks to these energy-efficient networks, some sensors can remain in place for nearly 10 years without requiring maintenance, due to the long lifespan of their battery.

These networks play a particularly crucial role in environmental monitoring applications. For example, they can measure the water level using water meters, thus contributing to the prevention of potential floods. Their ability to efficiently send messages makes them extremely useful in these contexts.

IoT for efficient water management

A few months ago, the government unveiled its “Water Plan” aimed at solving issues related to aging infrastructure and leaks, while improving water safety management and anticipating environmental and infrastructure damage. In France, a survey conducted by 60 Million Consumers reveals that one in five liters of water is lost in the network before reaching the consumer’s tap. Furthermore, with 75% of underground water tables remaining below monthly norms, the summer is looking high-risk.

In this context, IoT plays an essential role in detecting water leaks, preventive maintenance, real-time measurement, and temperature management. By optimizing every step of the chain, it allows for smarter water resource management. Connected water meters reduce the need for labor, facilitate frequent sampling and sophisticated on-site testing, while integrating response efforts with detection and surveillance systems. Just like in the case of fires, malfunctions can be reported through alerts, offering better control of water usage for both individuals and professionals.

Additionally, sensors are also used to ensure the safety and security of water in purification plants. Furthermore, they assist farmers by indicating which fields need to be irrigated, thus avoiding excessive watering and saving precious time.

Thanks to IoT, many advances have been made in environmental protection. Connected devices offer improved monitoring, early detection of environmental problems, and more efficient management of natural resources. The continued expansion of IoT will have a significant impact on our planet, helping to mitigate the consequences of climate change and promote a more sustainable future.

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