On the waterfront – the workshop of hydrography

For many decisions in the field of water management hydrographical data are needed. Hydrografie Österreichs - an independent institution of the federal and provincial administration - is responsible for the fact that these data are collected and made available to the public. For this purpose it is necessary to maintain a comprehensive measuring network and to equip it with modern measuring instruments.

The benchmark of hydrography - how much water is available to us?

Even in a water-rich country like Austria the knowledge about the water balance constitutes an important basis for decisions in the field of water management. This explains why, as early as about 120 years ago, a hydrographical network of measuring sites for the systematic recording of the components of the water cycle has been established. The public administration is responsible for the fact that the access to clean water is possible for everybody in Austria and that water must not be used to the detriment of others.  In order to ensure the sustainable way of dealing with the resource water - which is primarily influenced by precipitation - it is necessary to know how much water is available to us for everyday life.  For this purpose a continuously functioning measuring system and people who maintain this measuring network, also in the case of adverse external conditions, are needed.

The basic network of Hydrografie Österreich comprises measuring sites at surface waters, in groundwater areas and measuring sites for precipitation, air temperature and evaporation, which are located in such a way that a precise recording of the available water quantity is possible.

A versatile, sensitive network of measuring sites setting high standards

The operation of these measuring sites requires a robust and reliable infrastructure which is to be adapted to local conditions. Many tasks of hydrography presuppose that the data measured at the measuring site are available promptly. Important gauges require thus an electricity and phone connection and transfer the data collected by means of various sensors via GPRS network or independent radio systems. The hydrographical facilities of measuring sites at surface waters require, from a certain water depth onwards, a gauging house to accommodate the hydrographical measuring facilities and appliances. Collection containers to record the precipitation, thermometers for the measurement of air temperature, sensors for radiation measurement and for the determination of the depth of snow are to be attached to measuring masts and, depending on the location, to different assembling devices. Measuring devices for the measurement of groundwater levels are integrated into groundwater pipes especially drilled for this purpose or into existing wells. The conceptional arrangement, mounting, and installation are carried out by the technicians of the hydrographical service.

Maintenance and service in any wind and weather

Mounting and repair work in any wind and weather is everyday challenge, the maintenance of the measuring network and its adaptation to the state of the art are the supreme goal. By means of the dedicated commitment it has been rendered possible to reduce data losses, also under extreme conditions, to a minimum extent. The staff members of Hydrografie Österreich take all efforts to keep the probability of data losses during a flood event as low as possible and to warn the public and the task forces in time against flood hazards.

A versatile measuring network with high maintenance costs and efforts.

published at 17.07.2018, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)