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In this paper, we describe a low cost optical sensor of water level based on fiber bending effect associated to the use of an elastomeric membrane. The sensor proposed has a particular design to be simple, reliable, and low cost. It is suitable to be used in tubes of embankment dams, tanks, and reservoirs. The sensor uses a standard single mode fiber and can measure the water levels up to 10 m or more, choosing the appropriate membrane. This paper describes the development of the sensor, a theoretical modeling, and the results of laboratory and field tests. Seven sensors were installed in an embankment dam where they have been used in a real time monitoring system based in optical time domain reflectometry.