Water projects

Groot Salland Water Board goes digital


Digital groundwater level measurement network


Groot Salland Water Board


The Netherlands

Measuring groundwater levels then

At the place where he carried out his first groundwater measurement 40 years ago, Sjaak Bruggeman, Measuring Groundwater employee, is enthusiastic about Groot Salland Water Board’s switch to a digital groundwater level measuring system. ‘Digital measurements provide more and improved data and this is needed for good water level control, in which we also take groundwater levels and weather conditions into account’.

‘In the past, groundwater levels were measured and recorded manually each month on the 14th and 28th. I was initially only responsible for the entire measurement area of the then smaller Salland Water Board. That ultimately became some 15 people, as the Water Board expanded into Groot Salland Water Board with 5 water boards and a purification board.’

‘On busy days, 15 of us were in the field measuring groundwater levels, each in their own area. If you consider that you sometimes needed to visit around 130 measuring points a day, you certainly covered a lot of miles. In 2013 we had almost 1000 measuring points. That’s reduced again now because we have more and more data and no longer use all the measuring points. Together with our hydrologists we are looking at which measuring points will be needed in the future.’

Measuring groundwater levels now

‘Having more and better data is partly due to the Diver water level logger. This data logger for ground water levels, the most used in the world, can store dozens of measurements a day if required. Where we previously needed 15 people to manage the measuring system, we now only need 2.’

‘I held my first Diver water level logger in my hand in 1997; it belonged to a colleague of mine who was using it to survey a dyke. At that time it was still like a huge cigar. I quickly became familiar with it. We immediately ordered 50 and now, couldn’t do without it. All our measuring points are now ‘divered’’. You have more data in less time and such a Diver water level logger costs hardly anything. It’s very easy to calculate what you save in time and costs; you could easily add this up on the back of a beer mat.’

‘All groundwater data that we now receive from the Diver water level logger arrives in our central station. Our hydrologists study the data and devise plans for increasingly improved water level control.’

Do I miss doing things manually? Of course, I’m not outside as much in this fantastic countryside. And you had a lot of contact with people. But an increasingly improved and safe water level control comes first, so you can’t avoid a digital groundwater level measurement network. I always say; those who stand still today will be behind tomorrow.’


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