Collaborative Approach

The Bureau values a highly collaborative and consultative approach to development of water information standards and guidelines to collate, interpret and access nationally consistent data.

This collaboration involves experts and practitioners in water resource monitoring working together to agree and implement common standards.

Water Information Standards Business Forum

Between December 2010 and October 2014 the Water Information Standards Business Forum operated as a national committee focused on coordinating and fostering development of water information standards and guidelines in Australia. One of the major achievements of the Forum was the endorsement and publication of ten National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring in 2013.

Water Monitoring Standardisation Technical Committee

The Forum ceased to operate in October 2014 and its primary functions and activities were transitioned to the Water Monitoring Standardisation Technical Committee (WaMSTeC). WaMSTeC has been operating since November 2014 and its membership comprises over 25 industry organisations that share an interest in advancing consistent water information standards at the national level. WaMSTeC meets at 6 monthly intervals.

A standard approach

WaMSTeC operates in accordance with a set of foundation documents which describe its functions and clarify key terms, processes and procedures. These protocols, including the Terms of Reference (144KB), provide a consistent narrative and reference point for WaMSTeC activities.

The WaMSTeC glossary (145KB) promotes common interpretation and usage of terms relating to WaMSTeC activities. WaMSTeC has also agreed on a Standards terminology model (145KB) to describe the various categories of water information standards and guidelines.

Review and endorsement of standards and guidelines are the principle functions of WaMSTeC. WaMSTeC endorsement is a decision reached by a majority of WaMSTeC members to approve and give support to a standard or guideline developed in accordance with the WaMSTeC endorsement process (341KB). Endorsement signifies that the standard or guideline aligns with industry recommended practice.

WaMSTeC activities

In November 2015 WaMSTeC endorsed a National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata. The new guideline establishes nationally standardised water quality metadata requirements and provides a consistent approach to describing all relevant information associated with the collection of water quality data.

WaMSTeC is working in collaboration with the Australian Hydrographers Association to determine customer needs around data quality, as a step toward developing national data quality guidelines. It will also provide more detailed guidance for collection of groundwater data by expanding these aspects within the existing National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring. As work progresses in these areas, more detail will be published here.

Consultation on standards and guidelines

At various times, WaMSTeC will call for consultation on standards and guidelines in development. We will advertise these activities on this webpage and via professional and industry bodies.