The case
Aquafin SA is a company that is responsible for the purification of surface waters on behalf of the Flemish Region. The company has a clear vision: clean watercourses for the next generations and a living environment in harmony with water. It wants to develop a reliable waste water and rainwater management system, always tailored to its customers and with respect for our environment and the enviro
Project description
The website, however, was somewhat neglected and that was a shame, because water works and other projects must be communicated and coordinated via the website. In addition, the company also houses a wealth of information and data that unfortunately hardly ever stand out from their website. The Reference proved to be the right companion to tackle the redesign with a fresh perspective.

The new Aquafin website is built in Drupal 8.

After a thorough analysis and a few vigorous strategic workshops, a clear strategy was set up to realize the wishes of Aquafin. The website underwent a complete metamorphosis in which content and experience go hand in hand. All possible partners got their own section on the site, and can easily use the necessary platform.

Aquafin rightly attaches great importance to the information and data that they have to offer. That is why it was bundled in an educational part, and on the homepage the visitor is immersed in the vision and mission of Aquafin.

Key objectives of Aquafin:

Responsive Design
Easy to maintain
UX is very important
Aquafin wanted a website that's candy for the eye. Therefore we have added as much as eye-catching elements as possible. The challenge here was to ensure that the user experience wouldn't be affected.

Aquafin also wants to share information about roadworks on their website. This needed to be in a way that the user can easily check if there are any roadworks at a given place.

Both the design team and the front-end team did an outstanding job on fulfilling Aquafin's expectations. The website has been developed using a SCRUM methodology where there was a close collaboration between Aquafin and the development team of The Reference.

There were several challenges with the architecture and design of the new website. As you can see, there are plenty of large images and movies in the background. As the non-functional requirement was that any page should load below 200ms it became a huge challenge. Lots of experimentation with various caching / CDN mechanism & tools have been done. Today the website is using CloudFront and images & movies are optimized on-the-fly.

In addition to the design and the basic structure of the new website, the biggest challenge eventually became the implementation of the large mass of data that Aquafin receives daily: public works on sewers, water purification plants, pumping stations, and so on. The Reference's development team succeeded flawlessly in making this complex tangle a user-friendly whole.

There is a link with the GIPOD ( system of the government. This is an external system which collects all data about works in Belgium. Projects are automatically created from GIPOD into Drupal. Within the CMS Aquafin can easily enrich the content of the project with relevant information about the project.

At the time we started developing the website there wasn't a stable release of the meta entity module for Drupal 8. Therefore we forked the progress of the maintainer and improved the module ourselves. Obviously, we shared this updated module with the community.
Community contributions
Meta Entity module:

Settings module:

Robo lando (as we use lando for our development environment):