After the horrific tsunami hit Japan in 2011, officials have been attempting to think up ways to protect areas from flooding. It’s obviously really expensive to implement an entire new infrastructure, but researchers at Kyoto University and Hitachi Zosen Corp. have made a cheaper option that looks promising. It’s a new floodgate that raises and lowers based on the water level, and it does it automatically without sensors or any electricity — it’s powered by mother nature.
The new floodgate uses a water reservoir underneath the gate, along with a highly-buoyant material that acts as the sensor of sorts. When the floodgate detects water, the gate begins to raise as the reservoir fills up. Obviously, it won’t stop a full-blown tsunami attack, since the flood gate only goes up a little over 16 feet high, but it should protect buildings from water seeping in through doorways and such.
Because the floodgate raises and lowers automatically, there’s no human interaction needed at all, and since there’s no complex electrical system to power the gate, maintenance is left to a minimal. You might be thinking why they couldn’t just make a permanent wall, but this particular floodgate is meant for walkways, roads, and doorways where regular foot and car traffic can get through, as the floodgate can be up to 33 feet across.
It’s not said if larger floodgates like these will be made, but for the time being, we could see these things start to get implemented into doorways and such, with the possibility of larger models coming in the future that could replace entire flood walls, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens with these smaller gates.
There’s no word on when these new floodgates will begin to pop up, but we’re guessing it shouldn’t be too long, as we’re sure Japan officials, as well as other flood-prone areas around the world, are wanting in on this new technology as soon as possible.