WEISS can be deployed for large and small regions and operates at the level of detail and resolution determined by the user. WEISS uses the best available GIS data and others data for the accurate localization of the emission sources. It calculates and visualizes trends and supports scenario analyses and “what if” exercises.
WEISS can be deployed for large and small regions and operates at the level of detail and resolution determined by the user, for example the entire territory of Flanders (1.350.000 hectares). In this application, maps are calculated and visualized at a level of detail of one hectare (1ha).
It currently comprises all reported point sources and a hundred or so diffuse sources for heavy metals, PAH’s, pharmaceuticals and plant protection products in agriculture for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of eighty substances are covered.
WEISS uses the best available GIS data and other data for the accurate localization of the emission sources.For the transport routes, algorithms are available to work with the detailed spatial layout and characteristics of the sewage system. Similarly, for handling transport via run-off, output from dedicated water budget models can easily be incorporated in WEISS. However, WEISS’ transport algorithms are configured so that applications can also be developed for regions that lack the type of sophisticated data and models. In fact, the user can select the type of algorithm and model that fits best the data and models available.
WEISS can save data for different moments in time, hence it can also calculate and visualize trends. Consequently, it can also quantify the effectiveness of measures, changes in technology, application of new materials and products. To this effect, it supports scenario analysis and "what if" exercises. This allows to determine the effects of applying a treatment technology in one or more wastewater treatment plants, the extension of the sewage systems, the connection of individual sewers, changes in storm water overflow, etc.
"What if" questions can also be carried out with respect to the future. This provides answers to questions related to the evolution of water pollution towards 2030, for example, given known or computed demographic and economic trends and the associated changes in the use of land.It is also possible to simulate the consequences of spatial planning policies integrating environmental concerns, hence pay more or less attention to existing sewage infrastructure and its planned extension. The latter may result in great differences in associated investment costs in sewage infrastructure once such policies are implemented.
The following two figures illustrate the user interface of the WEISS system with its analytical capabilities. Results are shown in the form of tables, graphs and maps. Results can be viewed for all substances present in the WEISS system. Maps showing the distribution of the emissions of various substances are most likely the unique feature of WEISS. Apart from a total map across all sectors, the spatial distribution for each individual sector can be viewed. The user can zoom in on a specific river basin, municipality or province. Administrative boundaries, rivers and roads can be overlaid on the maps to facilitate orientation.
In the material flow scheme, for example, the mass balance is shown for each node in the transport network. The user can retrieve the map associated with the most important nodes or links, coloured in blue in the scheme. In addition, the results can be viewed in the form of a top 10 of major emission sources per sub-region, the gross/net ratio, the contributions of the various transport routes to the net emissions, and a table quantifying the unexplained load per WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant).