Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS)

The Bureau is building the Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS) to help us deliver high quality water information to all Australians.

AWRIS is a powerful information system capable of receiving, standardising, organising and interpreting water data from across the nation.

How does AWRIS work?

AWRIS allows us to process and publish water data in new and powerful ways.

The Bureau receives information about river flows and groundwater levels, water volumes in storage, water quality in rivers and aquifers, water use and restrictions, water entitlements and water trades.

AWRIS stores and manages this data in a central database.

AWRIS graphic

AWRIS will enhance the value of water information for users and contribute to better decision-making.

How is AWRIS being developed and released?

AWRIS is being developed in stages allowing the Bureau to release more comprehensive water information types and functions over the next ten years.

View AWRIS information sheet (PDF 460KB)

Current projects

Water Saving Measures project

Under the Water Regulations 2008, urban water utilities are required to give the Bureau water restrictions information when changes to restrictions are announced. The event-based nature of the water restrictions announcements—and possible long intervals between restriction changes—does not lend itself to a regular information transfer process such as FTP. The regulations currently require updates to be communicated by email. A web-entry facility will automate the data entry and display process leading to efficient workflows and audit processes.

The Water Regulations will be amended in 2011 to include the web entry tool as a data transfer option. Timing is subject to Ministerial approval of the amendment.

The Water Restriction information tool project has two phases:

  1. developing a web-entry tool and underlying database to enable urban water utilities to load their water restrictions information to the Bureau, as required by regulation
  2. building a dashboard to display current and historical water restrictions and enable users to view other contextual information in the database
Catalogue of Environmental Information

The Catalogue of Environmental Information will enable users to search for water, climate and environmental data and to identify the location of data holdings. The Catalogue is designed to give internal and external users the ability to discover and explore data held in the Australian Water Resources Information System.

Users will access maps to home in on their particular study region and identify sites that measure information about hydrological features of interest such as rivers, aquifers and water storages.

Users will be able to refine their preferred list of data by sorting and manual selection, and by filtering dates for example. Users will also view summaries and more detailed information about individual sites such as; location, variation of observations through time, summary statistics and meta-data. Users will be able to save the results of their search, enabling them to locate observation data in the relevant system.

Clear feedback mechanisms will enable users to report issues with any of the information presented, or, where authorised, to verify its accuracy. Although the initial Catalogue release is focussed on water data, it will also provide views on other meteorological data holdings within the Bureau. Ultimately, we hope to extend the catalogue's scope to encompass environmental data holdings external to the Bureau. Work to build the first Catalogue release is underway, with a public release planned toward the end of 2011.

Water Data Ingestion - 2010

The Bureau receives water data from Agencies named in the Water Regulations and these data undergo several processes before being able to be used for analysis and reporting purposes. The first critical process is reading the data files and loading the data into the AWRIS database; this process is called 'data ingestion'.

The AWRIS system currently has data ingestion capabilities for data used in the Water Storage and National Water Market products. This project will extend the AWRIS data ingestion capabilities to include additional water data categories.

The Water Data Ingestion 2010 project will provide ingestion capabilities for the following regulations data categories:

Water regulation data categories
Category # Description of category information
1 Surface water resource information
2 Ground water resource information
3 Information on major and minor water storages
4 Meteorological information
5 Water use information
7 Information about urban water management

The ingestion of this data will include observational data as well as monitoring point information and associated metadata. The project will enable the ingestion of data provided in the Bureau's Water Data Transfer Format (WDTF).

Once data is ingested, further data processes complete the creation, curation and quality assurance of time series data. A companion project to 'Water Data Ingestion 2010' is being initiated for these time series maintenance processes.

The initial deployment of the project's ingestion capability will target the ingestion of lead water agency WDTF data into the AWRIS system.

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