Ensuring hydrometric data are fit-for-purpose

FRIEND Water logoThe paper ‘Ensuring hydrometric data are fit-for-purpose through a national Service Level Agreement’ written by Katie Muchan and Harry Dixon from the NRFA was presented at the 7th Global FRIEND-Water Conference. The conference took place from 7th -10th October in Montpellier, France. FRIEND –Water (Flow Regime from International Experimental Network Data) is an international collaborative network of experts which aims to generate new understanding about regional hydrology and multi –scale water cycle processes.

The paper presents the results of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) which was developed between the UK regional measuring authorities and the NRFA, and implemented in 2002. The SLA agreement, which covers 60 % of the network was designed to promote stability in monitoring and ensure that valuable long-term records are maintained into the future. The SLA has provided a useful means of monitoring the network as a whole and performance of individual data providers. Frameworks such as the UK Service Level Agreement provide useful, transferable, tools for maintaining and improving the utility of such databases. There is a pressing need to improve the availability of high quality, easy accessible, hydrometric data. The more widespread use of quantifiable data performance measures and expansion of provision agreements would help maximise the hydrometric information available to researchers and water managers in an era of increasing resource pressures on networks around the globe.