As the U.S. Midwest grapples with devastating floods (not to mention floods this week in India that stranded thousands and killed nearly 40 people), and a day after a federal report predicts more extreme weather in North America’s future, it is clear we are due for innovation in the design of flood-protection systems.
Citizens of midwestern towns heroically deployed sandbags to battle against raging river water — but surely there must be alternatives that can be deployed more efficiently?
Last year, a U.S. patent was granted for such a system. Check out the link: the creators even cited the Midwestern floods of 1993, referenced so often today, as the type of dire situation that could possibly be avoided or at least ameliorated. The system consists of fabric barriers that could be installed quickly, literally temporary, flexible walls that could roll out and begin working much faster than people can pile sandbags on a river’s edge.
Readers, have you or anyone you know invented, seen, or discussed any flood-protection systems? These have the potential to save lives and impact the economy in terms of keeping it in order after a disastrous flooding season that wipes out crops and destroys farms and businesses. What companies, designers, and engineers are working to research, develop, create, and distribute such systems?
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.