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Water Level

After heavy rainfalls or in the case of sudden snowmelt, floodwaters can menace entire regions, which means housing estates and large industrial areas, roads and railway lines

The current water levels in rivers will then become breaking news.

Precipitation during the last 24 hours is in this context a decisive factor. With regard to the rivers´ catchment areas it is immediately recognizable where there is a danger of flooding. Depending on the respective river area the impacts can vary considerably. Smaller rivers react quickly, whereas in large rivers water levels change more slowly. In a river like the Rhein flood waves are often under way for several days. This can be traced via measuring sites.


The network of the level measuring points

Source: Wasser- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes (WSV) (German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration) and Wupperverband (the Wupper water authority)

Precipitation in the last 24 hours

Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) German Meteorological Services (DWD),

River areas

Source: Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde (BfG) Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG)

Validity of the data

When floods threaten, topicality of the measuring data is paramount. For this reason all recorded water levels are placed online as soon as they have been retrieved from a certain gauge. Within two to three minutes a currently measured value will appear in the map. With regard to the different rivers the respective values are measured at different intervals. The relevant frequency is between once per hour and once within ten hours. The amounts of precipitation each refer to the past 24 hours. These values are updated on an hourly basis.

The relevant measuring values are published unchecked, for which reason they may contain gaps and outliers. Concerning the relevant measuring sites operated by the Federal Government, there are no flood-water levels. The pertinent limit values and flood alerts are stipulated by the Länder (federal states). The amount of precipitation can in detail be indicated down to a surface of 4 by 4 kilometers. In the border regions of river catchment areas imprecisions may occur.

More detailed information is given underr:

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© 2019 - Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Richard-Strauss-Allee 11, 60598 Frankfurt am Main

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