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wateRinfo package #255
wateRinfo facilitates the access to a variety of environmental water-related data about Flanders (Belgium) available on waterinfo.be, a website managed by the Flemish Environmental Agency.
data retrieval: because the package provides R access to environmental data (water level and tidal information, discharge data, water quality variables, meteorological variables...) provided by the Flemish Environmental Agency. Without the package, people need to download data manually using the web interface or using the available API calls. The web interface, although evolving, does not support downloads for a list of stations and variables leading to lots of clicks to download data. The API documentation is limited and only available in Dutch. The package overcomes these limitations, supporting downloads of multiple variables and stations more efficiently.
Anyone interested in using the water-related data from waterinfo.be, for example hydrologists and ecologists. Scientific applications are ranging from environmental prediction and risk assessment modelling studies (e.g hydrological flood models) to ecological studies requiring environmental data.
To our knowledge, there is no other R package to retrieve data from waterinfo.be. Although some loose scripts have been circulating among researchers from different institutes, this package aims to support a collaborative/community effort.
Confirm each of the following by checking the box. This package:
Good point. I'll try to provide an overview of the information I'm aware of. Notice that we have for water-related issues different governmental levels: national level and regional levels, i.e. Flanders, Walloon and Brussels). Rivers are monitored on regional (and subregional) level:
Notice that we opt for GBIF to publish species occurrences related to water, e.g. fish, so this data is covered by the rgbif package.
As such, to my knowledge, there is no direct other source of data to incorporate. I'm adding @WillemMaetens (VMM), @pietercolpaert (open knowledge), @Sachagobeyn, @bartpannemans, @pjhaest to the discussion, maybe they know about other initiatives?
With respect to water quality data hosted by the VMM (Flanders): as I am currently aware, they are not available open source. They can be requested via the VMM website, however from my own experience, requests are often declined. An alternative for this type of information is the European Union Open Data Portal, in which ecological water quality, and a number of physico-chemical water quality variables are reported. For the latter, it should noted that data are only available for a few years. In addition, the datasets are not 'callable' as they are in waterinfo (zips hosted on the website).