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A Real-Time Hydrological Information System for Cities

Municipal Water Supply

  1. M. Eng Nguyen Quang Hung1,
  2. Sutat Weesakul1,
  3. Uruya Weesakul2,
  4. Chavalit Chaliraktrakul2,
  5. Ole Mark3,
  6. Lars Chr Larsen3

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.mw463

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Hung, M. E. N. Q., Weesakul, S., Weesakul, U., Chaliraktrakul, C., Mark, O. and Larsen, L. C. 2005. A Real-Time Hydrological Information System for Cities. Water Encyclopedia. 1:121–127.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand

  2. 2

    Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand

  3. 3

    DHI Water and Environment, Hørsholm, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


Nowadays, many organizations collect hydrologic information for various purposes. But still, little information from the huge sources of data is made public in real time, and only a small fraction of the data is applied for real-time decision making. Once the hydrologic data have become “historical” (the data are no longer applicable for real-time decision making), the data are still very valuable for design and for evaluating and understanding the hydrologic environment. But if hydrological data are used only after they have become “history,” the value of the data collection is not fully used.

Before starting to disseminate hydrologic information it is important to address the following questions:

  1. What kind of real-time information should be shown to the public?

  2. How and where should the real-time information be presented to the public?

  3. When do hydrologic data change from valuable real-time information to less interesting (from a public point of view) historical hydrologic data?

  4. What does it take in knowledge, technology, and hardware to provide real-time hydrologic information?

This article discusses experience gathered from a research project in Bangkok concerning provision of real-time rainfall data to the public through the Internet, hand-held computers, and mobile phones. It also provides an outline of the future use of hydrologic information in real time. The potential benefits from the described framework for using the information are

  • a public rainfall and flood information service, like the daily weather forecast, and flood warning system

  • traffic information about streets that have a potential risk for flooding,

  • a decision support system for reducing flooding in the Bangkok area.


  • Bangkok;
  • hydrology;
  • model;
  • radar;
  • rainfall;
  • real-time;
  • urban flooding