viadonau operates an extensive network of measuring devices at suitable locations along the Danube, March and the border section of the Thaya, which continuously records data on water levels, water temperature, solid materials, ground water levels and temperature as well as the conductivity of ground water. In the course of this activity, the measuring network is constantly monitored, maintained and adapted to the state-of-the-art or optimised (e.g. regarding reliability, accuracy and level of automation). Furthermore, the collected data are subjected to continuous quality inspections, processed and interpreted.
The information is used for hydrological analyses, studies and examinations or made available in real time for a wide circle of users and customers. For navigation, the operation of locks, viadonau´s conservation teams as well as several public authorities and emergency services reliable data is essential – particularly during extreme events (floods and low water). In Austria´s hydrographical yearbook the collected data is jointly disseminated and verbally interpreted.
Gauging at the Danube, the March and the Thaya contributes substantially to the Austrian water management and international projects. It is the basis for navigation and the operation and maintenance of the waterway.
- Federal Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management Dep. IV/4 (Hydrographic Office)
- Hydrographic services and protective water management of the Länder
- Flood Protection Associations
The provision of real-time data and information generated from it is constantly being expanded (e.g. bridge clearance heights in real time, depth data in the ECDIS viewers). The measuring devices at the gauging stations are always kept state-of-the-art by viadonau. High-priority gauging stations are increasingly equipped with redundant measuring and remote data transmission systems. The aim is to be able to continue to provide up-to-date and meaningful measurement data even if a measurement system fails.
The data bases relevant for the Danube and March / Thaya are continuously made available to the corresponding provincial services and published on their websites. viadonau therefore makes a significant contribution to the operation of flood protection forecast systems.
Since summer 2020, gauge data have been successfully transmitted via the highly fail-safe DoRIS radio network in a test operation at the Korneuburg gauge. This form of data transmission is currently being extended to other high-priority gauging stations. This is being done, among other things, to comply with the recommendations of the ACA report following the Danube floods in 2013. Another recommendation of this report, namely to formalise the exchange of data as well as the joint use of the gauging stations, has been fulfilled by concluding several agreements with Verbund as well as the hydrographic services of Upper Austria and Lower Austria.
The software for data management (gauge database) is also being continuously improved. For example, viadonau-internal alarms in the event of data failure (watch dogs) have been implemented. When (flood) limits are exceeded, information is automatically sent by e-mail to viadonau staff and selected external parties. The long-term archiving of tide gauge data was secured by the introduction of a separate backup system.