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General concepts waterinfo.be

Introduction

Waterinfo.be is the portal of the Flemish water managers and knowledge institutes. We want to inform you as accurately as possible about floods and droughts via this website. All the measurements and forecasts are to be found here. This way, appropriate measures can be taken to minimise water damage.

waterinfo.be provides current information on four themes:

  •  Flooding
  •  Tides
  •  Rainfall
  •  Drought

You can click on these themes at the top left of the screen. Historical information can be called up at the top right under "geo portal", "measurements" and "reports". The homepage always shows the most urgent theme first.

Waterinfo.be is composed of various modules (widgets) which you can configure on the screen to suit your own preferences. Each module contains a question mark on which you can click for further information.

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Waterinfo reports

Overview of waterinfo reportsThe reports contain current information published by the VMM and Hydrological Information Centre (HIC) operators. The symbols to the left of the report show the actual theme. The colour of the symbol indicates the severity of the situation. You can sort the reports by theme and by the zoomed-in location on the map. Click on the magnifying glass to open a more detailed version of the report. For a report related to a specific location, you can use the black visor icon to zoom into this location on the map of Flanders.
 

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Maps

MapThe central element is the map of Flanders, which you can zoom in and out of. The black visor icon on the map can be used to activate "My location". The map then automatically zooms into your current location. The further you zoom in, the more information you see on the map. To go back to the overview map of Flanders, click on the globe.

The map layers module allows you to tick the information layers you want to view on the map. By clicking on the name of the layer, you can make it visible or transparent. The layers available depend on the theme clicked and are explained in the module's Help function. You can add more layers with the extra layers widget, which you can expand by clicking the "-".

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The explanation of the symbols and colour codes of the various information layers ticked is given in the legend that can be expanded in the map.

You can visualize more information for several map layers by simply clicking on the map. A pop-up wil occur with the available information for the selected item, which wil be coloured yellow.
 

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Graphs

GraphsClicking on the points indicated on the map will open the corresponding graphs in the graphs module. When you hover the mouse over a graph, four icons appear. These icons (from left to right) allow you to centre the location of the measuring point in the map, maximise the graph, add the graph to your favourites, or delete the graph from the module.

You can use the icons left in the module, to indicate the graphs you want to view. You can select your favourite graphs via the star. The clock calls up recently clicked graphs. The icon below it lets you view all graphs for the zoomed-in locations (if you are zoomed in far enough). The bottom icon lets you compare different measurements. You may choose to compare your favourites, recently clicked measuring points, or zoomed-in measuring points. Tick the graphs you want to view and then click on "refresh".

 
Comparing Measurement Series
 

You can maximise the graphs via the rectangle or simply by clicking on the graph. In the maximised window, you can, depending on availability, choose from:

  • Measurements (represented by a solid line)
  • Short-term forecasts (represented by a dotted line, with uncertainty bands for some stations)
  • Long-term forecasts (represented by a dotted line, with uncertainty bands)
 
Measurement Location Summary page

It is also possible to show the other parameters that are measured at the location in the graph. At the top, you can choose the period for which measurements are to be shown. At the top right, you can change the date or the time window, using the arrows that appear when you move the mouse over the graph.

At the top right of the graph are a number of icons that can be used, among other, to bring up a table, download data or create overlaid plots. Overlaid plots allow data to be displayed on top of each other for various months or years. For this, you must select a period made up a number of months or years.

Under Station Info you can find extra information about the location of the measurement point, such as coordinates and possibly a photograph.

Under More info you can find various characteristics that are based on the measurements at that location, e.g. percentile values, extreme values and possible indicators:

  • Historical extremes shows a table with the historically most important storms at the location. It includes the date, the peak discharge value and the empirical return period of the storm.
  • Extreme values contains a table and a figure showing the evolution of the theoretical peak discharges at different return periods. Here you see how the estimate of the theoretical discharge values for a given return period changes due to changes in the discharge regime of the measurement location (i.a. the installation of retention basins, re-meandering, changing a paved surface, climate change, …).
  • Percentile (parameter) shows a figure with corresponding table of the distribution of these parameter values. The percentile figure expresses the percentage of time during which a given value is not met. E.g. 25%: the flow/water level remains below this value for a quarter of the time. These figures are available both for each measurement year and for the entire measurement period.
  • LT statistics (N) shows a table with the rainfall totals of the past months and years for this pluviometer.
  • Historical extremes (N) contains a figure with the monthly summary statistics for the rainfall recorded by this station.
 

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Colour codes

Colour codes usedThe colours green, yellow, orange and red are used in reports, graphs and symbols to indicate the severity of a situation. As described in the key, these colours stand for normal, pre-alert, alert and alarm respectively. The exact description of the alarm thresholds depends on the theme and the location concerned. A flood alarm is always defined differently from a drought alarm.

 

The following definition applies for high water levels:

Status Colour Description
Normal Green No flooding
Pre-alert Yellow Heightened vigilance, no flooding
Alert Orange Particularly heightened vigilance, non-critical flooding possible
Alarm Red Maximum vigilance, critical flooding possible
 

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Tables

Under the different themes, you can find tables with a summary of current or forecasted data for the relevant theme. You can always bring up more detailed information or a graph by clicking on a table.

TablesUnder the themes "Flooding" and "Tides" you can find tables with a summary of the measured and predicted status. Bars are used to show, for each river basin in Flanders, how many stations have a certain status. Clicking on a bar in the table will open a new table with all stations for the basin and status clicked. Clicking on the various stations will open the corresponding graph in the graphs module.

Under "Rainfall" you can find tables with measured and predicted rainfall. Clicking on a row in the table will open the corresponding graph. The same principle applies for the rainfall deficit table, which can be found under "droughts/current situation".

 

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Go to

SnelnaarAt the top of every theme page, there is a go to wiget. This gives a current overview of the information available in the other themes.

 

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Aids

SearchThe search window at the top of the page allows you to search the entire site. Not only can you search for keywords, but you can also enter an address and locate it on the map.

 

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Request account

Create accountIf you wish to use waterinfo.be on a regular basis, you can request an account and personalise the website. A distinction is made between the following types of registered user:

  • Public user;
  • Professional user;
  • Professional GIS editor;
  • Staff member of waterinfo partner.

After you create an account, you will receive a confirmation e-mail in your mailbox. Once you have logged in, the website will remember your settings. In this way, you can indicate your favourite graphs and save your location on the map. These functions are accessible to public users.

Edit accountProfessional users, such as emergency services and municipal officials, may request additional rights via edit account. A form will be displayed, in which you can enter your professional details and indicate the professional applications that you wish to use.

Professional users are routed to a dedicated website: pro.waterinfo.be. This site cannot become congested or subject to delays as a result of a large numbers of visitors. In this way, the availability of measurements and forecasts is guaranteed also during peak moments. You can log in directly via pro.waterinfo.be. If you log on via www.waterinfo.be, you will be automatically diverted to the professional site. In addition, the telephone icon provides access to the contact details of the operators, who can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

DashboardsAs a professional user, you have access to five dashboards or pages where you can group the modules of greatest interest to you. The graphs and "zoomed-in" maps for your area are thus displayed on a single screen for fast and easy access. You can add modules directly to one of your dashboards via the icon at the top right of the module. If you are logged in, detailed information about the dashboard configuration can be found under the menu "About waterinfo.be/Dashboards".

 

If you are a GIS editor, you can map the areas that were or were not flooded on the flood survey portal. More information can be found under the flood survey portal.

 

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Contact

If you have any questions about the content of the website, please click on the envelope icon at the top to send an e-mail to the operators of the Hydrological Information Centre (for navigable waterways) or the Flemish Environment Agency (for non-navigable waterways).

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