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KISTERS celebrates World Water Day

March 22, 2018

Every year on March 22, World Water Day highlights the importance of freshwater and a call for the sustainable management of freshwater resources as well as the protection and improvement water quality.

We are thankful for partners who challenge us to innovate the monitoring and management of flooding risks, water quality, the water-energy-food nexus, and open data.

North America

In the U.S. The National Water Model massively scales up the USGS stream gauging network. Interoperable web services and big data technologies enable the NHDplus and meterological forecasts to inform models developed by the UT Austin and UCAR. Data products and dashboards empower emergency managers and first responders to accurately and quickly anticipate how expected increases in water levels escalate flooding risks on specific streets and neighborhoods.


    • On behalf of the United Nations, Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change, in cooperation with the Federal Institute of Hydrology, operates the GEMStat water quality database in Germany. A global overview of the condition or water quality of surface and ground waters is provided. In addition trends at global, regional and local levels can be used for status evaluation, policy-making, research, or economic development purposes or within the scope of education and training initiatives.
    • The Flemish Water Portal serves as a real-time flood forecasting system for the highly urbanized and flood prone region in Belgium. The system integrates more than 1000 hydrologic and 50 hydrodynamic models, which are supplied with radar rainfall, rainfall forecasts and in-situ observations. Forecasts for the next 2 days are generated hourly, while 10 day forecasts are generated twice daily. Uncertainty over the longer term is also taken into account. High resolution dynamic flood maps and graphs at about 200 river gauges and more than 3000 forecast points inform a customized emergency response system that calls and texts hydrologists who can proactively response and prevent imminent flood damage.


    • In Pakistan, collaboration among the federal government, regional authorities and local irrigation departments works to assess the impacts of climate change, especially as they affect water, energy and agriculture. Wider variability in snow melt and water supply triggers increased uncertainty in the production of crops like cotton and food staples. In addition, sediment transport in major rivers can limit the efficiency of hydropower operations.
    • In Southeast Asia, the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MONRE) in cooperation with the Vietnam Environmental Administration integrated its telemetry system (hardware) with its water quality information system (software). With the assistance of the World Bank, Vietnam has integrated its management of industrial pollution in two river basins: Nhue-Day and Dong Nai. The population density of the Nhue-Day basin (including the city of Hanoi) is 3.5 times higher than the national average. The flat terrain presents advantages for building and economic development, but also requires effective diversion of flood waters in the rainy season. The Dong Nai basin (including Ho Chi Minh city) is mineral rich. Tropical forests also cover the basin and protect it from flash flooding in the rainy season, while maintaining water levels in the dry season. Mineral mining and fast urbanization are accelerating deforestation, but authorities want to protect the environment to an extent.


In response to the Millennium Drought (1996-2010), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology recognized the urgent need for a transparent and universal platform to share water data across the continent. The Commonwealth Water Act 2007 tasked the federal agency to “collect, hold, manage, interpret and disseminate Australia’s water information.” Today Water Data Online provides the public with free access to consistent, current and historical water information from 3500 monitoring stations across the continent. Data sets supplied by water agencies from each state and territory pass through quality assurance procedures, and the web portal is updated with processed data almost daily depending on each agency’s frequency of reporting. An interactive map and filtering options allow the public to view and download standardized data, graphs, tables, and reports pertaining to watercourse level and discharge. Future releases will add parameters.