Science - January 20, 2005

New instrument for water storage

Alterra has developed an instrument that can be used to search for suitable places to store water. Frank van der Bolt, Jaap Immerzeel and Ab Veldhuizen have adapted the instrument for use in high-water conditions in the Dutch province of Noord Brabant.

The instrument links models to a geographic information system (GIS). The GIS supplies data for a particular water system. The researchers can then use the models to calculate drainage, impoundage and inundation of land for that system. The instrument has been tested in a pilot area in the region Gemert-Bakel.

So far the system can be used to calculate how much water is retained and what is flow off under high-water conditions. Factors such as land use, management and planning can be included in the system. The researchers want to extend the range of applications for the instrument by making links with ground and surface water regimes and other models and instruments, according to managers’ requirements. / MW