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 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 December 2018 WaMSTeC endorsed updated National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring following a five-yearly review process. The guidelines now include additional guidance for groundwater monitoring, and other updates which improve their currency and relevance.

In November 2015 WaMSTeC endorsed a National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata. The guideline details 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 reviewing priorities for new guidelines to support water resource monitoring in Australia. We will publish more detail here as work progresses.

Consultation on standards and guidelines

In January 2021, WaMSTeC completed a consultation period for interested parties to provide comment on a new Part 11 of the National Industry Guidelines, on Application of Surface Velocity Methods for Velocity and Open Channel Discharge Measurements.

Access the draft guideline and provide your feedback here.