Central web platform for groundwater abstraction data

Erwin Vonk MSc, Martin Korevaar MSc PhD

  • Start date
    01 Jan 2017
  • End date
    30 Nov 2017
  • Principal
  • collaborating partners

With the objective of a having a more efficient and better structured stream of groundwater abstraction data, a new web platform is being developed based on actual measured values, rather than on licenced rates. The Dutch water companies will supply their data to a central database, after which a variety of users can request them. The database will be available within the Netherlands Hydrological Instrument (NHI).

Time saving and fewer mistakes

Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Netherlands has met its drinking water needs through countless groundwater, river-bank filtration and infiltration abstraction sites spread all over the country. In 2016, the annual volume of abstracted groundwater amounted to more than one billion cubic meters.

For their hydrological studies, engineering consultancies, research institutes, universities and water companies require historical and current measurement series of the abstraction rates. To meet this need, the water companies have had to provide de abstraction data manually to the modellers: a time-consuming process. A central web platform for the uploading of data by Dutch water companies, so that modellers can make use of them, would represent a huge time saving and decrease the chance of mistakes.

Framework development within Python

We aim to develop the web application within the Django (REST) framework for Python: a proven opensource framework for web applications. The following principles will be respected in the technical design: (1) development time, (2) speed of use, (3) the degree to which possible future extensions can be facilitated (scalability) and (4) building upon existing technologies (standardisation). As a backend, we propose PostgreSQL.

Django’s advantages include the possible application of RESTful web services, simple implementation of http security, and user-friendly account management. In addition, Django directly integrates, via a so-called Object Relational Mapper (ORM), with various database systems. It is expected that this framework will quickly provide the required functionality.

Web application with several interfaces

This project will produce a web application with the following interfaces:

  1. Login page for the data source owners (water companies): After login, a simple file-selection-window page appears with an upload button.
  2. Login page for the web application managers (Deltares): After login, a page appears with an overview of all active source owners. There are buttons to add or remove source owners, and to send a new password to any source owner. Lastly, the application manager can also adjust a source owner’s information (e-mail address, login name).
  3. Web API (web service) with which the end-users can extract information from the abstraction database.
  4. A standardised CSV or XML file format with which the source owners (water companies) can supply their measurements.
  5. A well-documented data model for data storage, delivered as a database schema as well as a short notification.
  6. A database containing the abstraction data from two pilot abstraction sites, and the abstraction data of NHI previously collected by KWR (Leunk, 2012).