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Case Study: Water Data

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) fostered culture, leadership and capability by developing policies and clear lines for leadership and accountability for water data.

In September 2019, the Minister for Water, Property and Housing, The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, requested that the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer review and advise on the adequacy of water-related data collections, infrastructure and capabilities to meet current and future requirements and manage associated risks.

The review identified the need for a comprehensive, integrated, open and whole-of-system approach to deliver useable and high-quality data. Three recommendations were made:

  1. The default position of all NSW water data, collected from both public and private sources, should be ‘open data’ that is publicly available and managed in accordance with the NSW Information Management Framework and relevant standards
  2. A Water Data Custodian is appointed to ensure a ‘whole of system’ and integrated approach is taken to water data. This role should have a reporting line to the CEO Water to provide a degree of authority over data and
  3. Consistent with good practice, the roles of data collection and data analysis should, as far as reasonably possible, be functionally separated to ensure decision-making is as objective as possible.

Implementation is progressing, including proactive publication of additional datasets, and the appointment of a Chief Knowledge Officer who takes on the role of the Water Data Custodian, reporting to the CEO Water.

Last updated 07 Jun 2021