Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find more information on the WATPLAN project?

Please see the project website WWW.WATPLAN.EU  for more information about WATPLAN.

What is the duration of WATPLAN?

This project has a duration of 30 months, starting February 1st, 2011. The operational monitoring product (this website) is expected to run for a period of 18 months, starting October 1st, 2011.

What data are available on this website?

The weekly generated outputs that are presented on this website are:

  • Evapotranspiration (ET)
  • Evapotranspiration deficit (ETdef)
  • Biomass production (BM)
  • Rainfall (P)
  • Rainfall minus evapotranspiration (P-ET)

Additionally, a new land use map for the Incomati catchment for all three countries involved will be generated once at the start of the project.

For which crops are data available?

Output data on ET, ETdef, BM, P and P-ET, are available for 4 different land use classes:

  • sugarcane
  • irrigated crops
  • forest plantations
  • natural vegetation

Output data are also available for the entire sub-catchments by default.

How were the data outputs and the represented land use classes selected?

The selection of data outputs and land use classes was done in close collaboration with the end-users of WATPLAN. These were discussed during meetings, interviews, and workshops.

How can I use the outputs?

The data on this website show weekly values for ET, ETdef, BM, P and P-ET for a number of land use classes within the Incomati catchment. The outputs presented on this website can be used and applied in numerous ways.

For example, ET maps can be used to:

  • Show differences between the intensity of water uses
  • Show which areas have adequate water supplies and which areas are water stressed
  • Estimate water requirements for a range of agro-ecosystems
  • Identify areas for possible water savings and the potential volume of such savings
  • Monitor droughts
  • Improve water balance analyses
  • Measure the incremental ET as a result of irrigation
  • Analyze water use per land use class
  • Assess whether the available moisture meets the demand for water (ETdef)
  • Assess whether irrigation is needed or not (ETdef)

BM maps can be used to:

  • Show productivity of land
  • Show incremental productivity from irrigation
  • Show differences in crop productivity between certain areas and crops
  • Measure a change in biomass (yield) as a result of irrigation

P maps can be used to:

  • Show the distribution of rainfall within a catchment
  • Show the ability of rainfall to cover the crop water requirements
  • Show areas where supplemental irrigation is needed
  • Measure the inflow into reservoirs
  • Improve water balance analyses
  • Show the wetness of the soil (P-ET)
  • Assess whether there is water surplus or deficit somewhere in the catchment (P-ET)
  • Assess whether water can be re-allocated to other places in the catchment (P-ET)

Interpretation of data needs to be done by the users themselves, depending on the way they wish to apply that data. More information on the outputs can be found here. Some examples on how to look at the data can be found here.

What kind of feedback is the WATPLAN team interested in?

The WATPLAN team would like to know how this operational monitoring product (this website) can be improved to develop a better product for the user. Questions we would like to see answered are:

  • How are you using the data provided on this website?
  • Do you see any other uses for the data provided?
  • Does the website functionality and speed meet your requirements?
  • Which output data are useful to you, which are not?
    • N.B. Output data are: ET, ETdef, BM, P, P-ET.
  • Which areas of interest are useful to you, which are not?
    • N.B. Areas of interest are: entire sub-catchment, sugarcane, irrigated crops, forest plantations, natural vegetation.
  • What do you think of the quality of the data?
  • What information is missing on the website?

What happens with my feedback?

Your feedback is used to further improve the product and to further satisfy user requirements. Your information will not be shared with third parties.