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Resilient soil and water resources,
understanding the water beneath your feet.


Following the Flow

19 November 2018 - Published by Jens Uvijn

During the spring of 2018 the water authority of Hunze & Aa’s, partner in TOPSOIL, carried out a study following the flows and monitoring the surface water of the Drentsche Aa brook in Drenthe.

The Hunze and Aa’s Water Authority is responsible for water management – both quality and quantity – in the area through which the Drentsche Aa brook meanders. The Drinking Water Company of Groningen extracts water from this brook, providing drink water for the municipality of Groningen.

The outcomes of the study are used for further research relating to the management and protection of water resources.  The focus is on gathering information concerning flow, transport, and mixing processes in surface water. Such information forms the basis for formulating sustainable protective measures.  The study also provides information on the time it takes for water to flow to the drink water intake point.


This study is important, monitoring possible pollutants in the Drentsche Aa (whether they be accidental or not). When a calamity takes place in the catchment area (e.g. run off from pesticides or other polluting substance), it is important to know how much time is left to take responsive measures before any pollution reaches the intake point.


Based on the hydrological SWAP model, we have developed a new map indicating the flows and how long it takes (per hour) for water to travel tthrough the catchment system.