Startup company imaGeau launches its free-to-use drought monitoring website info-secheresse.fr
Using the open data model, info-secheresse.fr continuously gathers and interprets rainfall, hydrological and hydrogeological data to provide real-time monitoring of the trend in water resources at local level.
In response to repeated episodes of drought and water stress, startup company imaGeau has launched a free-to-use public service website that provides continuous access to qualified and spatialised drought data for all the departments of France. Using a single website, it draws together all publicly available data from the 3 drought disciplines of meteorology, hydrology and hydrogeology to provide local and regional authorities with an overview of water resources in map form. Welcome to info-secheresse.fr.
“Until now, if you wanted to know the status and trend of water resources in real time, you had to view and download information from several databases covering rainfall, the quantitative status of watercourses (rivers, streams, etc.) and water table levels... a time-consuming and tedious process. Today, info-secheresse.fr draws all that data together in a single online platform available free of charge to public and private water industry stakeholders”, explains Olivier Depraz, the CEO of imaGeau, which joined the Saur Group in 2017.
A real need for simpler decision-making support
Conceived as a public service and designed to help water industry stakeholders reach decisions quickly in response to water resource availability, the website offers free access to qualified daily updated drought data that is spatialised (mapped) by department. The imaGeau website uses a streamlined, intuitive interface designed to improve user understanding of great risks. It also meets a need expressed by many industry professionals for a single online resource that concentrates all the most important drought-related data in a single source and facilitates communication between stakeholders.
A platform designed by hydrogeologists for all water industry stakeholders
After 6,000 hours of work by IT developers and environmental experts, the website is available free of charge to those organisations that provide input to departmental drought committees (tourism, fire safety, etc.), the Water Agencies, the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition of France and its decentralised services (DDT, ARS, Dréal, etc.), decentralised water conservation services and Gemapi (the regions and departments of France, EPTB, water table agencies, etc.), water-producing local authorities, operators (utility companies and outsourced service providers), industrial companies and farmers.
It will also be of interest to members of the public and media, who will be able to track water resource trends during periods of drought.
What kind of data are available?
Info-secheresse.fr concentrates more than 100 million government open data items relating to rainfall, groundwater levels and river flow rates to characterise the risk of drought throughout France. 4,500 points are currently displayed and updated daily:
- 1,000 points are rainfall monitoring stations
- 1,500 water flow rate monitoring stations
- 2,000 groundwater flow rate monitoring stations
Together, these generate more than 180,000 new raw data items every day for integration into the system.
All these data are then validated and presented in the form of drought indicators calculated in accordance with international standards; in fact, around 30,000 indicators are calculated on a daily basis. They are then presented in the form of user-friendly and intuitive maps. ImaGeau also provides historic data going back more than 40 years for rainfall and hydrology (15 years for hydrogeology) enabling users to put episodes of drought into an historic perspective.
“We designed info-secheresse.fr because droughts are likely to become more frequent and more lengthy, and because the challenge of climate change demands that we share water resource management and sustainable usage information as widely as possible, says Matthieu Baïsset, Technical Director of imaGeau and an expert in hydrology.