The Water-Gate flood barrier was invented by Daniel Dery on New Year’s Day in 1998. Comfortably seated in his living room and watching the yearly retrospective on TV, he saw hundreds of soldiers and civilians piling up enormous quantities of sandbags to block out flood water coming in from Manitoba’s Red River in Canada. In an instant, he came up with an idea: to use long-empty plastic bags tied together and topped with a floater. The water would enter the empty cavities, fill them up and stop the flood by creating a water-filled barrier.
That very evening, a small model was created in the kitchen sink and testing was conclusive enough to continue testing on a bigger scale (see drawing below).
After several verifications with the Canadian Patent Office (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) and much to his surprise, Mr. Dery noticed that no comparable product existed on the market. From then on, he decided to dedicate his life to the fabrication and worldwide distribution of water barriers, stopping the most damaging natural disaster: floods.
On the above picture, you can see the first full-scale model that could stop 24″ (61 cm) in retention height.
The first prototype needed adjustments as the filled-in cavities would slip one on top of each other (picture taken July 14th, 1998).
Two months later, following many conceptual improvements, the Water-Gate as you know it was merchandised (first official picture of the Water-Gate).
The following years brought its load of challenges but Mr. Dery always looked ahead, firmly convinced it could be a success. To this day, the Water-Gate barrier was able to help customers worldwide.