Updated on July 18, 2019


Created on July 18, 2019


Upcoming Update

Hidrosonico is an open source hydrological monitoring and flood early warning system.

Developed By Unknown

Product Description

Hidrosonico is a sonar-based stream gauge, which reads the distance between the sensor (specifically from where the housing meets the threading) and the water’s surface directly below and sends this data at specified intervals to cloud-based storage, SMS, and/or email as determined by the user. The product was designed to aid in collection of hydrological data and for flood early warning in developing countries.

It has been implemented already in countries such as Cambodia, Honduras, Nepal, and Indonesia.Interview with manufacturer

DAI Maker Lab is the manufacturer, located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Market Suggested Retail Price


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Each component can be obtained via different providers (Seeed or Adafruit). The installation has to be done by the user.  

Manufacturing/Building Method

The product's software is distributed in github. The different hardware components are distributed by different companies: Seeed and Adafruit.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Users can use the Hidrosonico open source software and order components from the following providers: - Seeeduino Stalker v3.: Seeed - Adafruit FONA 800: Adafruit - Antenna: Adafruit - MB7369 HRXL - MaxSonar - WRM: Adafruit - Solar panel: Adafruit - A lithium-ion battery: Adafruit

Distributions to Date Status

The most updated code website has 75,000 subscribers.Interview with manufacturer

Design Specifications

The code provided sends data to data.sparkfun.com as the cloud service but it could be easily adapted to any other provider. There are also lines in the code that are marked for user-specific input. The system takes the mode of a series of seven readings to determine the stream height. If that height exceeds an alert level (yellow and red alert levels designated for each location) then it enters a validation routine where it takes five clusters of seven readings over the course of 25 seconds to make sure they agree that an alert level has been reached. If any of the modal readings dissents, then the alert is not triggered. The idea is to filter out things like passing birds or plastic bags caught by the wind.Interview with manufacturer This is a beta unit. Technical specifications: About the sensor MB7369 HRXL-MaxSonar-WRM:

  • Weather resistant (IP67)
  • Matches standard electrical 3/4-inch PVC pipe fitting for easy mounting
  • Detects the largest signal return in the field of view
  • Uses the complete dynamic range of the sensor, if no large targets are present the sensor will select the net smallest target in the view.
  • Maximum range of 765 cm
  • Long range, narrow detection zone
Dimensions of the sensor:
  • Length: 71.09 mm
  • Width: 43.84
  • Weight: 49.66 g
  • Operates from 3.0-5.5 V
  • Operational temperature: -40ºC to +70ºC (-40ºF to +160ºF)

Technical Support

The manufacturer is open to provide technical support for any interested parties, whether commercial or non-commercial.Interview with manufacturer

Replacement Components



For the whole system there is not a defined lifecycle, but there are systems that have been installed for three years with continued operation.Interview with manufacturer on 07/01/2019 MB7369 HRXL - MaxSonar - WRM:  200.000+ hours mean time between failure  

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Enable underserved communities to have an early flood warning system.

Vetted Performance Status

Conclusion of Master's thesis at Johns Hopkins University: The system is materially comparable to USGS installation, but more expensive.Interview with manufacturer


On existing cases the devices have been mounted on the side of a bridge, so they are not too difficult to get for the technicians and are therefore not a high safety concern.Interview with manufacturer

Complementary Technical Systems

Academic Research and References

Hollenbach, A., 2016, Managing Water Resources in an Era of Hydrological Uncertainty: The Application of Low-Cost, Open Source Environmental Sensors, Msc. Environmental Science, Krieger School of Arts and Science, Johns Hopkins University.

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

The manufacturer has recently discovered that the code has to be adapted to ignore big animals (like elephants) that may pass by the sensor.

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


September 26, 2023

AFD-1 Water Flow Sensor

Read Solution


August 1, 2019

SWEETSense Technologies

Read Solution


October 8, 2018

Oxwater Smart Handpump

Read Solution


October 20, 2020

Soilsense Soil Sensor

Read Solution
All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member