At its fourteenth session in 2012, the Commission for Hydrology requested its Advisory Working Group “to commence a process, including testing, that could potentially see WaterML 2.0 become a WMO standard for information exchange managed by WMO” (CHy-14, Res. 3).
This request put in motion an effort that precipitated several data and data-sharing activities that need to be addressed at Commission For Hydrology.
Specifically, the Commission will need to make decisions on three items:
- Whether or not to endorse the WMO Hydrological Observing System;
- Whether or not to recommend to the WMO Executive Council that WaterML 2.0:Part 1 and part 2 be adopted as WMO standards for information exchange for use by National Hydrological Services; and
- Whether or not to support ongoing adoption by WMO of further WaterML 2.0 standards.
This brief introduction provides an overview of the background and issues associated with standardized data sharing in hydrology.
Several WMO documents provide guidance on the management of hydrological data, including the Guide to Hydrological Practices, Hydrological Data Transmission, and Guidelines for Computerized Data Processing in Operational Hydrology and Land Water Management.
These documents describe, in general, best practices for collecting and managing data and provide information and recommendations on the need to define standards. They do not, however, define detailed standards themselves.
An excerpt from the Guidelines for Computerized Data Processing in Operational Hydrology and Land Water Management illustrates this point:
The adoption of standard formats should not impose any constraints on the user’s own data-processing activities, rather it should minimize the resources involved in the movement of hydrological data between data-processing centres. …. In the absence of exchange standards, each agency must develop separate software routines to handle the data formats used by each other agency. This leads to a proliferation of software development tasks. Further, it is often found that receiving agencies cannot even read the data because of some non-standard/unspecified feature of the recording media or the data set”.
In 2005, a report from the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) addressing data exchange problems in global hydrological and atmospheric networks identified standards as a key issue.
The report stated that:
There are no established international standards on the acquisition of river data, the set of required metadata, data formats, and transmission modes“.
Volume 1 of the WMO Guide to Hydrological Practices, updated in 2008, also states:
There are currently no standards for data exchange formats for hydrological data”.
Notably, only limited hydrological data and/or information are transferred between or among WMO Members.
International exchange standards are, even at national scales, the exception rather than the rule.
However, geographic features such as river basins and aquifers generally do not align with national boundaries, and 90 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries that share transboundary hydrological features with their neighbours.
Thus, it seems obvious that data sharing among countries within transnational river basins would be of significant mutual value. In those few cases where data are currently being shared, it is typically where the parties have negotiated very specific bilateral or multilateral agreements.
When the Thirteenth WMO Congress (Cg-XIII) adopted Resolution 25 in 1999, there was widespread agreement that the exchange of hydrological data at the local, national, regional and global levels was absolutely essential to enhance the shared and sustainable management of water resources, coping with floods and droughts, and improving the capability of nations to provide essential hydrological forecasting and warning services.
In this context, the WMO Executive Council invited the Commission for Hydrology to provide advice and assistance on technical aspects of the implementation of the practice on the international exchange of hydrological data and products.
In 2012, CHy-14 noted the significance and importance of WaterML 2.0, and other emerging standards under development by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) for improving service delivery in key CHy programmes such as the WMO World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) and the WMO Flood Forecasting Initiative. In particular, activities of the WMO/OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group are providing technical and institutional solutions to the challenge of exchanging data describing the state and location of water resources, both above and below the ground surface, with a number of standards associated with WaterML 2.0 such as WaterML 2.0:Part 1 – Time Series; WaterML 2.0:Part 2 – Ratings, Gaugings and Sections; WaterML-WQ; GroundwaterML 2.0; among others.
During the intersessional period following CHy-14, a number of National Hydrological Services were testing WaterML 2.0: Part 1 in pilot and operational systems for hydrological data exchange.
Pilot projects and operational systems offering WaterML2 in the world
According to the WMO Strategic Plan for 2016-2019, reliable, high-quality services that help prevent the loss of life and property contribute to economic growth and support environmental stewardship worldwide.
These services also depend upon the availability of a modern hydrological infrastructure and the availability of well-trained, motivated and competent personnel to gather, process, archive and facilitate the rapid exchange of data and products.
The capability to maintain high standards in observations, data, and metadata is a requisite to achieving significant and targeted improvements in services that address the growing needs.
CHy’s endorsement of such capabilities and service improvements will be solicited, as explained in the following “Documents for discussion” and “Information documents”.
WaterML 2.0: Part 1 – Time Series Observations
Commission for Hydrology adopted Resolution 3, entitled “Proposed Adoption of WaterML 2.0 as a Standard.”
In the Resolution, the Commission recognized the importance of improved access to water safety statistics for a range of purposes, including flood forecasting and warning, water resources assessment and evaluation of water rescue equipment such as life vests and floats.
It also decided “to commence a process, including testing, that could see the potential adoption of the WaterML 2.0 as a WMO standard for information exchange managed by WMO.”
Since CHy-14, WaterML 2.0 has evolved into a suite of component standards. WaterML2 Part 1 (http://www.opengis.net/doc/IS/waterml/2.0.1) encodes ‘time series observations’ and Part 2 (http://www.opengis.net/doc/IS/waterml2.0-part2/1.0) supports the exchange of ‘ratings, gaugings and sections’.
In response to Chy-14 Resolution 3, during 2013-2016 an expert affiliated with the CHy Advisory Working Group participated in several regional projects specifically to evaluate the performance of WaterML2 Part 1 in facilitating the exchange of hydrological and related data across information systems.
This discussion paper provides highlights of those regional evaluations, with links to more detailed material associated with each.
Demonstration 1 – The La Plata River Basin
The La Plata basin, with an area of 3,200,000 km2, is the world’s second-largest catchment. It covers important territories belonging to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
In support of the access to and exchange of hydrological data provided by the National Hydrological Services belonging to the Plata basin, CHy supported the development of a technical solution, called PLATA-HIS (see LaPlataHIS.pdf ), to provide additional operational capability, in particular for in situ water observations, as a federated resource for National Hydrological Services.
Discovery and access of hydrological data in La Plata basin
Utilizing a collection of WMO and OGC Web services, the PLATA-HIS (http://hiscentral.ddns.net/hisplata) is designed as a “services stack framework” that identiﬁes three types of services as essential to sharing hydrological information across the Web: catalog services, metadata services and data services.
These three services work together to completely index, describe and provide access to hydrological time series in the La Plata river basin.
The system has been successfully used as follows: definition of a monitoring network of hydrological and meteorological stations maintained by countries belonging to the La Plata basin.
Analysis and optimization of the hydrological monitoring network at the basin scale; increased collaboration between countries to improve network design and lower costs; collaborative calibration of hydro-meteorological instruments; free exchange of meteorological and hydrological observations; common policies to control data quality; and creation of archives of hydrological data allowing improved services and responses to natural disasters.
Demonstration 2 – The Sava River Basin
The exchange of information and data on a transboundary basin is often difficult both for structural and technical reasons.
In the case of the Sava river basin, the Commission for Hydrology supported the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC) and five countries within the basin (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia), as well as two entities (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska), in developing a data policy (see 168.pdf ) primarily addressing an agreement between the countries and a Hydrological Information System called SAVA-HIS, as an advanced solution to the existing technical needs in hydrological data management, including data dissemination.
The Hydrological Information System of the Sava river basin
The web portal of SAVA-HIS (see 168 Part 2.pdf) provides access to the hydrological observations in the Sava river basin, commonly published as Hydrological Yearbooks. It also provides the additional operational capability for in situ water observations, and as a national registry of water data services catalogued using the standards and procedures of the OGC and the WMO.
The new capabilities are supporting the Sava countries in sharing and disseminating of hydrologic and meteorological data, information and knowledge about the water resources in the basin. SAVA-HIS also enables an effective common channel for exchanging and viewing the hydrologic and meteorological data and information in emergency situations, primarily those related to flood events.
In May 2014 the largest flood in known history occurred in the Sava river basin.
After three-months’ worth of rain fell on the region in just three days, the flooding had a devastating impact, inflicting great damage, including the loss of human life.
Such damage clearly demonstrates the need for improved flood management in the Sava river basin, both through structural and non-structural measures. Based on experiences in all the Sava countries affected by the May floods, SAVA-HIS provides a valuable solution to one of the main problems in active flood defence which was the lack of timely information on the hydrological situation in the basin.
Demonstration 3 – The Arctic-HYCOS
Sharing information and knowledge among NHSs and international projects promotes a consolidated approach to studying the freshwater flux to the Arctic Ocean and Seas and furthers our understanding of the Arctic hydrological regime and related climatic variability and change.
The Commission for Hydrology supported the implementation of a hydrological observing system within the Arctic drainage basin known as Arctic-HYCOS (see ArcticHycos).
The Arctic countries of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States are participants in the Arctic-HYCOS project, and they freely and openly share all data and metadata from stations within the project network with all project participants, following Resolution 25 (Cg-XIII) on the Exchange of Hydrological Data and Products.
The Arctic-HYCOS project offers a platform (http://hiscentral.ddns.net/hisarctic) for the regular collection and free exchange of Arctic hydrological data.
Project activities also include evaluating, maintaining and potentially upgrading existing observational stations. Network analysis identifies observational stations suitable to evaluate freshwater flux to the Arctic Ocean and Seas and to study changes in Arctic hydrological regimes relative to climate change.
The Hydrological Information System in the Arctic-HYCOS project
The development of the system in support of standardized data exchange allows: international co-operation in studying and assessing hydrological processes in the Arctic, in particular, related to climate change; reliable assessments of freshwater flux into the Arctic Ocean and Seas both in the short and longer-term; a better understanding of links between Arctic river discharge, the freshwater balance of the Arctic Ocean, the thermohaline circulation, and the global climate; improved water management enabling better streamflow monitoring and prediction of hydrological changes thus improving life support systems in polar communities; hydrological data to be contributed to other Arctic Observation Systems, in particular to research groups and monitoring programs dealing with Arctic snow hydrology, permafrost, glaciers and glacial runoff; and hydrological data to be contributed to Global Observation Systems, in particular to WIGOS.
Based on the dramatic improvements made in data exchange in each of the regional demonstrations, the Advisory Working Group is recommending to CHy-15 that WaterML 2.0 be adopted as a WMO standard for information exchange through resolutions on data representations for hydrological information to be discussed at CBS-16, CHy-15 in 2016 and EC-69 in 2017.
WaterML2.0: Part 2 – Ratings, Gaugings and Sections
Water observations data are fundamental to our understanding of water resources. Within countries, regions and continents water resource management is a highly distributed activity.
Many organizations collect and manage water data, even within single countries. In addition, features such as river basins and aquifers generally do not align with the boundaries of nation-states.
To understand water resources, hydrological data sharing becomes a necessity – both within and between countries.
The sharing of such data is dependent upon having both a common understanding of the underlying hydrological concepts and a defined data format for exchange.
Hydrological data analysis typically involves discharge or volume data; these data are difficult and expensive to monitor in situ.
It is common practice to monitor a surrogate variable, such as stage, and to use computer algorithms and metadata to derive discharge and aggregated dischage data.
Rating tables or curves provide the metadata to enable the stage to discharge conversion to occur.
Rating tables or curves express a theoretical or empirical relationship between any two variables. In hydrology, the development of empirical relationships is normally through the use of field observations, including stage, stream gaugings and river cross-sectional data.
The ongoing collection of information and data at stream gauging stations is used to validate and refine the relationship as river profiles change over time.
The focus of the OGC® WaterML2.0: Part 2 – Ratings, Gaugings and Sections Implementation Standard is defining a common structure (information model) for representing rating tables, gauging observations and river cross sections, their associated metadata and vocabularies, as well as an XML format for the exchange of data between organizational systems.
WaterML2 Part 2 is a component of a suite of hydrological standards being developed through the WMO/OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group. It was approved by OGC in July 2015 and published in early 2016. The WMO Commission for Hydrology (CHy) community is invited to examine this new standard and its use in the work of National Hydrological Services.
The OGC® WaterML2.0: Part 2 – Ratings, Gaugings and Sections standard (http://www.opengis.net/doc/IS/waterml2.0-part2/1.0) provides a published, internationally agreed method of sharing ratings, gaugings and cross-sectional (termed sections) data between organizations and information systems.
The Advisory Working Group is recommending to CHy-15 that WaterML 2.0: Part 2 be adopted as a WMO standard for information exchange through resolutions on data representations for hydrological information to be discussed at CBS-16, CHy-15 in 2016 and EC-69 in 2017, subject to some necessary revision of its non-normative (informative) material.
CHy Advisory Working Group
WaterML standards under development
Standards under development include Part 3: surface hydrology features (HY_Features), and Part 4: groundwater features (GroundWaterML2). Explanatory documents on these standards as well as the Sensor Observation Service are available here below.
WaterML 2: Part 3 – Surface Hydrology Features (HY_Features)
Hydrologic features are units of hydrologic information required to convey identity of real-world water-objects through the data processing chain from observation to water information. This standard will provide a reference model defining real-world water-objects and the way they relate to each other according to the hydro-science domain. It is defined under the umbrella of the joint WMO-OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group and is meant to form the groundwork for future hydrologic feature encoding standards among other applications.
HY_Features standardizes hydrologic features such as:
- Catchment Boundary
- Catchment Area
- Contained Catchments
- Cartographic Realization
- Topological Schematic
- Topographic Course (part 2)
- Topographic Course (part 3)
- Hydrographic Network
- Hydrometric Network
The HY_Features common hydrologic feature model (OGC 11-039r3) is a formalism based on definitions published in the WMO/UNESCO International Glossary of Hydrology (WMO Series no. 385).
The HY_Features model describes surface hydrologic features by defining the fundamental relationships among major components of the hydrosphere in a way that is independent from geometric representation or scale of the described features.
The HY_Features model will allow for common and stable reference definitions wherever hydrologic features and relationships are required:
- to allow identification of the target feature-of-interest of hydrologic observations;
- to assist the assimilation of data into integrated datasets or computer software on global, regional, or basin scales;
- to enable information systems to link distributed data across application domains and jurisdictions;
- to enable cross-domain services to communicate by referencing common, shared concepts promoting semantic interoperability between systems.
The HY_Features Standards Working Group expects to complete the core conceptual model in 2016. Interoperability experiments and other pilot activities will be used to vet the model and encodings.
The HY_Features is part 3 of WaterML2 standards suite. More information can be found at: http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/hydrofeatswg.
WaterML 2: Part 4 – GroundWaterML 2 (GWML2) Data Exchange for Groundwater Features
A significant portion of the global water supply can be attributed to groundwater resources.
Effective management of such resources requires the collection, management and delivery of related data, but these data are distributed globally across many agencies resulting in major data heterogeneity.
Discovering, accessing, assessing, reformatting and using these data are thus considerable challenges for any user.
To help overcome this challenge, a group of international groundwater data providers have collaborated within the Groundwater Standards Working Group (GW SWG) of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to develop GWML2 for sharing groundwater data. GWML2 comprises the groundwater component of the WaterML2 suite of hydrologic data standards, and consists of three data structures for groundwater features progressively optimized for data exchange with OGC protocols.
Groundwater features are natural or artificial entities significant to the storage or movement of groundwater, and GWML2 includes the following features as partially illustrated in Figure 1:
- Hydrogeological Units: basins, aquifers and their properties and spaces fillable by water;
- Groundwater Bodies: biologic, chemical and material constituents and groundwater flow;
- Man-made Artifacts: wells, monitoring stations, management areas, and aquifer tests.
GWML2 has been successfully tested by groundwater data providers from North America, Europe, and Australasia in an OGC Interoperability Experiment (GW2IE). It is anticipated that GWML2 will complement emerging standards for surface and atmospheric water features as well as hydrologic observations, to facilitate the exchange of data for the complete water cycle.
For more on GWML2 please consult:
- GW SWG: http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/groundwaterswg
- GW2IE: http://external.opengis.org/twiki_public/HydrologyDWG/GroundwaterInteroperabilityExperiment2
Figure 1: a partial view of GWML2. Labels prefixed with “GW_” denote GWML2 components.
OGC Sensor Observation Service (SOS)
Observation data, such as hydrological/hydrographical measurements or meteorological observations are an important input for many decision-making processes, research activities, and information systems.
The World Wide Web (WWW) is an excellent communication layer supporting the efficient collection and exchange of these data sets. However, when sharing data over the WWW it is important to have a common approach defining how to request data sets and how to encode the data (i.e. specification of data formats).
The figures below illustrate the advantages of using standards. Figure 1 shows the situation without the application of standards: each data consumer needs to be customized to the interfaces of all data sources it accesses.
In the worst case, development efforts are necessary for each pair of data consumer and provider. If more data consumers and sources exist, the necessary efforts grow dramatically.
Figure 1: High amount of integration efforts in case of heterogeneous data access mechanisms
Figure 2 depicts the benefits of applying standards. Each data provider and consumer needs to be adjusted only once to support a commonly agreed standard.
Thus, if a client application accesses further data sources, no further customization efforts are necessary, if the data source supports the agreed standards.
Figure 2: Easier integration of new data sources by using interoperable standards
The definition of such a common data access method is the objective of the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) standard developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international standardization organization with members from industry, academia, and public administration.
The SOS standard describes how computer programs can request observation data via the Web from observation data repositories. This includes also filters through which clients can specify which data sets they want to download (e.g. temporal sub-setting, specification of the measurement parameters that are of interest, etc).
The core functionality of the SOS interface comprises:
- Access to metadata about the measurement processes (sensors) that have generated observation data
- Download of observation data based on various filter criteria to access only the subset of data that is relevant for a certain data consumer
- Provision of further related data (e.g. locations of sensor stations)
The SOS standard is complemented by the OGC SOS 2.0 Hydrology Profile Best Practice Paper, which provides recommendations how the SOS specification should be used in hydrological applications.
- Bröring Arne, Christoph Stasch and Johannes Echterhoff (2012). OGC Implementation Specification: Sensor Observation Service (SOS) 2.0 (12-006). Wayland, MA, USA, Open Geospatial Consortium Inc.
- Andres Volker, Simon Jirka and Michael Utech (2014). OGC Best Practice: OGC Sensor Observation Service 2.0 Hydrology Profile (OGC 14-004r1). Wayland, MA, USA, Open Geospatial Consortium Inc.
- SOS introduction: http://www.ogcnetwork.net/sos_intro
- Web Page introducing WaterML 2.0, an output format used by the SOS standard: http://www.waterml2.org/
- 52°North Sensor Observation Service implementation (open source): http://52north.org/sos
- 52°North SOS-based data viewer: http://sensorweb.demo.52north.org/client/#/?timespan=2016-07-06T04%3A33%3A32%2B02%3A00%2F2016-07-07T04%3A33%3A32%2B02%3A00&ts=fluggs__15
- KISTERS Web Interoperability Solution: http://www.kisters.eu/water/software/kiwis-interoperability.html
8 Responses to Standardized Data Sharing in Hydrology
- Jan Danhelka says:
As an AWG member, I am personally likely better informed than most of the CHy members on the issue of WaterML2.0.
First of all, I’d like to congratulate Silvano for the work and results he achieved in the last few years in implementing and promoting WaterML2.0 standards, in particular through the pilot portals referenced in document.
Secondly, I would like to encourage NHSs to implement WaterML2.0 part 1 as a standard for data exchange. The NHS of the Czech Republic has introduced this format recently and promotes its use among users and partners. Cooperation and hydrological data exchange exist in many parts of the World, most often realized on the basin scale. Although the basic need of data exchange is at basin scale and global exchange is not well develop, nor understand as important from many points of view. However, I see a big potential benefit of standard format for data exchange in much easier technology transfer, as sometimes the most difficult part in implementation of database or model is to include it in current data streams etc. Therefore the standardization of exchange format might be of great benefit for NHSs not only i direct data exchange but also in other fields of work. Because the subject is very technical and difficult , I would strongly recommend to pay attention to a form of presentation of WaterML2.0 (in particular part 2, which has not been introduced to CHy community yet). I support the adoption of WaterML2.0 as WMO standard by the CHy.
- Nathaniel Booth says:
Exchanging water data between providers for assessment purposes and assimilating water observations into flood forecasting systems are two important use cases within the United States. The WaterML 2.0 suite of standards allows USGS, with its partners, to unambiguously describe water observations made across our national surface and groundwater networks for these and other purposes. USGS has been a strong proponent and active partner in developing and testing WaterML 2.0 since the inception of the WMO/OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group. As such, we endorse the adoption of WaterML 2.0: Part1 and Part 2 and support the ongoing development and adoption of additional WaterML 2.0 standards. Nathaniel Booth
Chief, USGS Office of Water Information
- Peter Heweston says:
I fully endorse the great work that has been done in trying to bring some order to the complex world of data interchange, and the WaterML 2.0 standards represent a good first step along the way. However I believe we need to carefully distinguish between the exchange of data on the one hand, and algorithms on the other. Water level can fairly unambiguously be considered data, and subject to mutual understanding about units, time zone, datums, location etc it can fairly easily be interchanged. When it comes to WaterML 2.0 Part 2 I start to have reservations, as it proposes the interchange of ratings. The domain of flow computation ranges from the seemingly simple (look up a rating table or equation) to the somewhat complex (application of stage shifts, datum shifts, phased changes etc) to the difficult (side looking ultrasonics, index velocity methods, radar and surface flow methods) to the downright nasty (backwater calculations, tidally affected flows, dynamic 3D flow models). The bottom line is that ratings are not data, they are parameters to complex algorithms built into software. I’m not sure to what extent we will ever succeed with usefully exchanging ratings with the aim of computing flow until we all run the same software – an unlikely outcome for the foreseeable future. Peter Heweston
Software Architect, KISTERS Pty Ltd
- Evelyn Quirós says:
Answer Q1: It is recommended to have a common and standardized mean for exchanging information; however it is required to intensely promote among NHSs WaterML 1.0 and 2.0 for a better understanding of the tool. Answer Q2 and Q3:
I support the adoption of WaterML2.0 as WMO standard for use by the NHSs.
- Elizabeth Jamieson (on behalf of Canada’s National Hydrological Services) says:
Question 1: Whether or not to endorse the WMO Hydrological Observing System;
Answer: WHOS is to provide a global data service framework to facilitate hydrological data registration, data discovery, and data access. It is beneficial to the international hydrology community for water resource management and water science research, and so yes, we should support this effort. However, we would like some clarifications on what is intended in the areas of data quality (for example, multiple levels in the integrated dataset), metadata content, data management (i.e. a single integrated database?) and scope (for example, management of shifts and corrections to data including dealing with more complex scenarios such as winter conditions). • Do you agree with the general concept of WHOS Phase II described above? Would your NHS be interested in making use of a data search and sharing capability?
Answer: Yes, we agree with the general concept. Canada’s National Hydrological Service would be interested in making use of a data search and sharing capability. However, there is not a significant operational need for us to have access to hydrological data from other countries. One operational use would be if the WHOS Phase II data included discrete data sets such as comparison measurement data sets. However, it is not clear whether the Phase II proposal includes such data.
We also have questions regarding storage: would data be stored globally (for example, similar to the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC)?), or locally in each country or region. From a users’ perspective, this may not be important if the platform was designed to search based on geospatial characteristics or metadata attributes and retrieve data in a standard format, no matter the source. • Do you think WHOS Phase II should facilitate hydrological data sharing in global programmes?
Answer: Yes. This question is already implied by the previous two questions. • Would you prefer that WHOS Phase II take into account specific requirements at the basin scale?
Answer: What these “specific requirements at the basin scale” are needs to be defined before we can comment. • In order to implement WHOS Part II operationally, a round-the-clock system of technical support is required. Typically, this is provided by NMSs, rather than NHSs. Do you think WHOS should seek support from existing meteorological data centres or should it develop its own infrastructure?
Answer: We disagree that the WHOS needs to be a round-the-clock supported system. The most time sensitive activity supported by an operational hydrometric monitoring program is flood forecasting or providing data during extreme situations. In most cases, the data exchange platform for these activities have been well established, monitored and supported at the local scale, and would probably remain such into the future. Question 2: Whether or not to recommend to the WMO Executive Council that WaterML 2.0:Part 1 and part 2 be adopted as WMO standards for information exchange for use by National Hydrological Services.
Answer: Yes, in principle we recommend adoption. WaterML 2.0 is the data exchange standard developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international standard organization with hundreds of industry, government, research and university members. It makes the most of sense for WHOS to adopt WaterML 2.0 as the data sharing standard. Indeed, WaterML 2.0 Part 1 is focused on the representation of hydrological time-series data and Canada’s Geo-renewal project within the Canadian Meteorological Center (CMC) is currently aimed at making our hydrological time-series data available through a new Environment Canada datamart in OGC standard. So we are already on the path to sharing our real-time water level and discharge data via WaterML 2.0.
WaterML2.0 Part 2 provides an information model for exchanging rating tables, gauging observations, and river sections, which are used in daily hydrometric monitoring operations. We understand that there is an increasing need to share this type of information outside the organization, so a standard format for this data would be useful. However, there are always concerns that public access to the rating table information could result in misinterpretations of ratings, especially if information concerning corrections and shift are not readily available. What if the implementation of WHOS included a data access policy to manage different levels of access to mitigate these concerns?
Some other questions remain regarding how the WaterMl 2.0 standard should be achieved by NHSs who already have established standards, and whether there would be a target deadline or timeline for adoption. It should also be noted that WaterML files can be large due to the metadata content and may not be easily adapted for use within real time operation data systems. Finally, Canada’s NHS did not participate in the development of Parts 1 and 2, and therefore may not be as sufficiently and technically informed on the implications of this standard as they should, and how inline (or not) the standard may be with Canada’s current standard operating and data management procedures. Question 3: Whether or not to support ongoing adoption by WMO of further WaterML 2.0 standards.
Answer: We support the ongoing development of further WaterML 2.0 standards (such as Part 3, Surface Hydrology Features and Part 4, GroundWaterML 2), and in principle we support the adoption of these new standards eventually.
- Jozef Csaplár says:
The proposed unified format is definitely a great idea but: we think that many NHs run their own systems and implementation of unified format will require new personal and financial support. Regarding to this fact we are not sure if this can be implemented easily and without additional financial support.
- María Concepción García says:
( Comments in Spanish and English) Utilizar estándares facilita y mejora la transmisión de datos, por lo que nos parece interesante contar con ellos. Por otro lado, ¿ En este caso que sea un formato estándar implica obligatoriedad de transmitir la información en esos formatos o su adopción es voluntaria? No hemos seguido exhaustivamente el desarrollo de WaterXml 2.0 y , a lo mejor ya se está trabajando en ello, pero sería interesante tener en cuenta de cara a futuros desarrollos la compatibilidad de los estándares con programas ya implantados y la posibilidad de cambiar los datos a formatos utilizados ampliamente y que permitan su aplicación en programas de uso general u otros programas como MCH.
Using standards facilitates and improves data transfer, so we find interesting having standards in place. On the other hand, does standard mean compulsory application or, in the contrary, its adoption is voluntary? We have not closely followed Water Xml 2.0 and, maybe, it has already been considered, it could be interesting considering ( in former developments) the compatibility of this standards with formats widely used ( such as csv) and that allow their use in programs already implemented in National Services such as MCH, for example.
- Aurelien TOSSA says:
Q1 Yes It a good thing to adopt WaterML 2.0 as the data sharing standard.
Q3 Yes i support the ongoing.