Cocktail of Substances (RIWA-Meuse)

RIWA Maas collects large amounts of water quality data at a number of locations, both in the Netherlands and upstream, which is summarized in annual reports. These reports show that substances exceed permanently or occasionally the ERM target values. RIWA Maas wishes to give more clarification to these exceedances and wishes to further explore the visualization possibilities in their extensive database.

Visualization for the discharge effects in the Meuse water quality

Problem: Over the years, the Meuse river has had fluctuations of its water quality, mainly because of the presence of chemicals of emerging concern (CEC) and dry periods.  The Meuse quality deteriorates with low discharge, but this relation is not easily showed in the annual reports.

RIWA Maas aims to show the relation between the Meuse discharge and its water quality, and find better ways to visualize this relation.

Use of R for analyzing the RIWA database

The RIWA database contains detected substances in the Meuse river. From this, we have selected relevant pharmaceuticals, industrial compounds and pesticides.  By using R scripts we aimed to analyze and obtain graphs from the water quality data and discharge, for six different locations along the Meuse river, in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Visualize the behavior of the Meuse water quality and discharge throughout the years and locations.
We were able to obtain different types of graphs, e.g. stream graphs or piecharts that easily show the behavior of the compounds throughout the years and locations. The relations with discharge is further explored by showing how discharge worsens water quality.