The UK Water Resources Portal

The UK Water Resources Portal is a tool to monitor the UK hydrological situation in (near) real-time, showcasing the use of live river flow data from the Environment Agency. The UK Water Resources Portal has been developed as a demonstrator to showcase the use of multiple variables: rainfall, river flow, groundwater and soil moisture from COSMOS-UK, in the raw data format as well as standardised indicators, to view various plotting styles and view data for multiple sites.

It is a development of the UK Drought Portal which has been updated each month since June 2017. The UK Drought Portal however, showed only a commonly used drought indicator — the Standardised Precipitation Index. Within ENDOWS we worked with South West Water and the Environment Agency in Devon and Cornwall to develop a prototype portal for the south west of England to work out how these different datasets can be brought together and how data can be presented to work alongside existing monitoring tools such as Environment Agency Water Situation Reports.

The UK Water Resources Portal and the UK Drought Portal will run in parallel whilst we receive feedback about the functionality and visualisations used in the UK Water Resources Portal and ensure it can be maintained operationally.

For more information on major flood and drought events see the occasional reports of the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme.

If you would like to submit feedback about the UK Water Resources Portal, please send it to nhmp@ceh.ac.uk.

As the UK Water Resources Portal is still a demonstrator, there are some known issues which we haven’t quite ironed out yet that users should be aware of:

  • There is a slight delay of several days of the observed daily river flows being uploaded to the Environment Agency live data feed. When daily river flow data are selected, the map viewer defaults to ten days before the current date, however you may need to use the arrows at the top of the map to scroll back several more days to view the most recent data.

Please note that:

  • Daily river flow data are shown as a solid black line for checked data and a dashed line for unchecked data. Unchecked data may be erroneous.
  • All data should be assumed to be provisional, and should not be directly used for decision-making.
  • Daily river flow data are available in England on a real-time basis using the Environment Agency’s live data API for almost 500 gauging stations. This means that daily flows are available in real-time. Also available in the UK Water Resources Portal are daily river flows received each month through the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme, these include an extra 64 gauging stations across the UK.
  • An equivalent standardised indicator for soil moisture is not included here. Since the COSMOS-UK records start from 2014 onwards, they are not yet long enough to compute a standardised indicator.
  • You can view up to four graphs at a time. If you change the data type, time scale or standardised indicator accumulation period the graphs will also update if the data are available. If data aren’t available the graph will empty.
  • Not all graph types are available for all data types — if you select a graph and data type which aren’t available for a particular site you will see an error message stating this.

We plan to add the following datasets/types to the UK Water Resources Portal in the future:

  • groundwater data and Standardised Groundwater Index (SGI)
  • rainfall (raw data — gridded or gauged)
  • satellite data such as the Vegetation Condition Index and soil moisture

The UK Water Resources Portal was primarily developed in the ENDOWS project (Engaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/L01016X/1. Additional funding was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.