Persistent drought can have adverse effects in many areas. Farming, shipping, aquatic ecosystems, industry and even the energy and drinking water supply can get into trouble during a long dry spell.
Drought and water scarcity are complex problems. Low discharges and levels on the watercourses (form of hydrological drought) are only one aspect of this matter. The CIW (Coordination Committee Integral Water Policy) oversees the entire topic. You can find more information on their website www.opdehoogtevandroogte.be. More information on ground water can be found at Databank Ondergrond Vlaanderen.
On waterinfo.be the following is shown:
- A map representation of discharge flows at locations where the measuring stations can also correctly measure low flows. Both current and forecasted data are shown;
- an indication of low discharges at gauging locations by displaying the low water status, based on percentiles of the historical measurement data, for non navigable andnavigable watercourses;
- the“Standardized Precipitation Index” (SPI) indicators with accumulation periods of 1 month (SPI-1) and 3 months (SPI-3) indicate how dry or how wet the past month (SPI-1) and past three months (SPI-3) were as compared to the same period of the year over the past 30 years in Uccle. SPI-1, therefore, represents the short-term situation, whereas SPI-3 represents the longer term situation (a season). The SPI-3 map, based on the measured rainfall stations from VMM, is shown as a background map on the drought page.
In addition, more specific indicators are used and interpreted in monthly state reports. For the waterways, an overview is made in the low water reports from April to September, or as the situation requires, and in drought reports in case of drought. These reports can be consulted under the menu Reports.