Macroinvertebrates have been collected in Flanders since 1989 by the Flemish Environment Agency to assess ecological water quality. During the present study, the collected waterbugs were identified to species level. In total, more than 90 000 waterbugs were identified, belonging to 45 species. Two of these are recent additions to Flemish fauna: Sigara iactans was found to be a common species in 1989, the first year of monitoring, which is earlier than the first records reported so far, whereas Cymatia rogenhoferi remains a very rare species. Five different communities could be recognized: (1) species occurring in alkaline waters with a high pH, (2) species occurring in colder waters that can tolerate slightly brackish and nutrient rich water, (3) species from running waters, (4) species from acidic waters and (5) ubiquist species that occurred in all types of water. Owing to the general improvement of chemical water quality during the last decade, most species increased, however, three pollution tolerant species declined significantly: Callicorixa praeusta, Corixa punctata and Sigara striata.