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Maximising the utility of hydrometric information for the user community: a national perspective

Dixon, Harry. 2011 Maximising the utility of hydrometric information for the user community: a national perspective. [Speech] In: BHS National Meeting: Providing an efficient and effective hydrometry service, University of Birmingham, UK, 21 June 2011. British Hydrological Society. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

The availability of high quality hydrometric information is fundamental to meeting the continually growing challenge of water management, across the UK and internationally. The recent past has seen marked steps forward in both monitoring capabilities and data dissemination, but it is important that as a hydrological community we consider the overall utility of the national hydrometric monitoring system and maximise the information it provides. Within the UK, 2010 saw the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the Inland Water Survey which today, under the banner of the National River Flow Archive, continues to provide a national source of hydrometric information. River flow data, and environmental monitoring more widely, are acutely important during periods of actual or anticipated change and as such the need for a systematic national survey of water resources identified in the 1930s remain as, if not more, important in the present day. This talk will outline the NRFA’s ‘information life-cycle’ approach to the management of hydrometric data, in particular emphasising the importance of maintaining feedback routes between data users and those responsible for data sensing and processing. Examples of current and potential future initiatives designed to maximise the information provided by the UK’s gauging station network will be detailed, including: strategic network reviews, performance indicators for data provision (which enable the assessment of data quality and completeness to be quantified), new tools for enhancing the utility of existing datasets and developments in metadata dissemination aimed at ensuring users are able to assess the ‘fitness for purpose’ of data. At an international scale the UK’s contribution to current initiatives related to data sharing and benchmark reference networks will be discussed. The talk advocates moves towards a more integrated hydrometric monitoring setup in the UK where data providers, managers and end users combine to improve the utility of the system. Against a background of increasing pressure on resources available for monitoring, and the worldwide reality of contraction in hydrometric networks, the approaches outlined in this talk are an important foundation for efforts to ensure that the quality and efficacy of UK hydrometric monitoring is maintained at an appropriate level for the needs of the user community.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Speech)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.4 - Management and dissemination of freshwaters data
CEH Sections: Boorman
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Data and Information
Related URLs:
Date made live: 25 Oct 2011 08:04
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/15487

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