Definitions - Terms in the Regulations

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What is water information?
"Water information" is defined in s125 of the Water Act 2007 to mean "any raw data and metadata, or any value added information product, that relates to: (a) the availability, distribution, quantity, quality, use, trading or cost of water; or (b) water access rights, water delivery rights or irrigation rights; and includes contextual information relating to water (such as land use information, geological information and ecological information)".
What is the Interim Period and the Grace Period?
The Interim and Grace Periods refer to the interval from when organisations are first listed in the Regulations until they are required to give Water Information to the Bureau of Meteorology. The Interim Period applied to those organisations listed when the Regulations were first released and has now passed.
The Grace Period applies to organisations listed in the Regulations after January 2009. The Grace period is always three months from the date organisations are first listed in the Regulations. Organisations are required to start giving information from the end of the Grace Period, however the actual start date will depend on whether the information is daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Search Regs Online to see when each organisation must commence giving water information.
Who or what are persons?
The term 'persons' is used in the Regulations to refer to both private and public entities. It includes individuals as well as trusts, organisations, companies, corporations and agencies of State, Territory or Commonwealth Governments that are required to give water information to the Bureau.
Persons named in the Regulations are grouped into nine categories: Categories A to H and K. The categories are based on functions. Persons may be in more than just one category as they may perform more than one function.
Historical information and new or ongoing information
The Regulations discriminate between information held by a person before the end of the grace period and information that comes into a person's possession on or after the end of the grace period. It may be easier to think of these two types of information as historical information and new information, respectively.
Historical information is the information that is in a person's possession before the end of the grace period.
New information is the information that comes into a person's possession after the grace period.

Water Information Definitions

Web Services
A standardized way of integrating Web-based applications employing widely used computer languages such as XML. It allows organisations to communicate without intimate knowledge of each other's IT systems behind the firewall. Web Services are being trialled in Australia for information sharing. If you propose giving water information to the Bureau through a Web Service, please contact us on
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another through a network, such as over the Internet.
See also File Transfer Protocol (FTP) details and data file content and naming conventions.
Time Series Data
A series of values of a variable at successive times. An example is a series of values of stream height data recorded over a time period from a particular site.
See also File Transfer Protocol (FTP) details and data file content and naming conventions.
Short for Extensible Markup Language, XML is a computer language designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to define, transmit, and interpret on-line data between organizations.
See also File Transfer Protocol (FTP) details and data file content and naming conventions.
Metadata and contextual information
Data and contextual information that assists the Bureau to understand or interpret the primary data listed in Categories 1 to 9 and 11. It may be metadata or documents such as protocols that describe how information is collected and stored by a particular data owner. See Metadata and Contextual Information Requirements for details of metadata which named organisations are required to give to the Bureau when they give their water information.

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