Mobile website for water users

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River Forth

A new mobile-friendly website launched to make it even easier for water users to plan their activities.

With the recent explosion and popularity of smart phones, it was the logical step for us to develop a mobile website to provide access to our water level information.

The river levels page on our website is one of the most popular pages, attracting over 412,000 visitors during the past year.

Who will use this mobile website?

This is a website that can be used by anyone, but in particular by people who take part in leisure activities in and around water.

Fishermen, canoeists, walkers and other water users use the river level data to see what water conditions are like to help them plan their activities. For example, an angler will use the site to see how high a particular stretch of river is before deciding to fish, or a canoeist may check it to get an indication of how safe the water conditions are.

How does it work?

The website provides data for the last few days from a network of gauging stations at around 330 sites. Most of the stations are sited on rivers; although data from several tide and loch level recorders are also displayed.

The gauging stations are operated by our Hydrology Unit. The water level data is collected at these stations using a variety of electronic sensors and data loggers. The majority of data loggers are connected to the telephone network, allowing us to collect the data remotely.

Data from these stations is collected automatically at least once a day, although an upgrade programme is under way to increase the number of sites capable of displaying data on an hourly basis. Sometimes data is collected more frequently depending on operational requirements and the type of communication method used at specific stations.

Environmental use

We monitor water level as part of our duties to manage Scotland’s water resource. Effective water resource management allows sustainable water use by people for domestic, industrial and recreational purposes without causing any damage to aquatic habitats. Water level data is also used for flood risk management and evaluating changes in the environment due to land use or climate change.

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