Metadata and contextual information

The Water Regulations 2008 require specified organisations to give water information, including metadata and contextual information, to the Bureau. The metadata and contextual information requirements are listed in a document incorporated by reference in the regulations.

The Bureau is in the process of developing detailed metadata and contextual information element lists and explanatory notes for each water information subcategory in the regulations. The metadata lists are developed using the metadata consultation process and are progressively added to the Metadata and Contextual Information Requirements document.

The Bureau will, in the future, make the metadata associated with a given observation, discoverable. This will enable data users to make an objective assessment of the fitness of data for their purposes.

Metadata consultation process


The Bureau will consult with industry to develop metadata lists for each data subcategory. These lists will be completed progressively so that at any one time there will be multiple lists in different stages of development. The consultation process is as follows:

  1. Draft metadata and contextual information element lists
    The Bureau develops a draft list and associated supporting documentation for a data subcategory, in consultation with its Subject Matter Expert Groups.
  2. External review
    The Bureau publishes the draft list in Govdex and invites feedback from lead water agencies in each jurisdiction as well as other key industry stakeholders. The Bureau seeks comment on the completeness and relevance of the metadata in the draft lists.
  3. Revision of lists
    The Bureau revises the lists to integrate feedback received and publishes FAQs to address comments and questions.
  4. Inclusion in the Water Regulations 2008
    Once finalised, metadata and contextual information element lists for each data subcategory are added to the Metadata and Contextual Information Requirements document and published.