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Cities Are ­sing New Cloud Technology to Fight Increasingly Expensive Catastrophic Flooding

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A lake in Albany, NY, connected to the Opti system.

New companies are turning to the cloud to find ways to manage what comes out of the sky.

Credit: Diana Olick/CNBC

New companies are turning to cloud technology to help cities better manage catastrophic flooding.

Boston-based Opti, for example, installs subterranean smart water management systems that link to cloud infrastructure and monitor weather. The systems use forecasts to direct water into and out of urban lakes, retention ponds, tanks, pipes, cisterns, and constructed wetlands.

Another company, Rainbank, uses cloud technology connected to remotely operated valves to control rooftop reservoirs so they release rainwater slowly once storms have passed. Rainbank CEO Kevin Dutt said the devices "talk to each other, and they also talk to our server in the cloud, and our server is running algorithms, evaluating a storm and deciding when is going to be the most intense period of a storm. With that information, it tells these valves when to close, when to start collecting water."

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