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An update from the New South Wales Modelling and Monitoring knowledge Hub

The NSW Government established the water Modelling and Monitoring Hub (MaMH) in 2018 to assist with effective water management in NSW. The hub allows selected government agencies and state-owned corporations to share knowledge and collaborate.

Six government organisations formed the inaugural MaMH working group. Since this initial collaboration many of these organisations are now part of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, including NSW Government’s Manly Hydraulics Laboratory that helps administer MaMH operations. The working group also includes representatives from Sydney Water, WaterNSW and most recently, Hunter Water (all being State Owned Corporations).

In the first year of the knowledge hub, two foundation projects were delivered, An Overview of Water Modelling and Water Monitoring Information and Collaboration Tools in NSW. Key findings from these projects were that:

  • Multiple NSW organisations rely on many different water models and water information sources with great opportunities for improved collaboration
  • Resourcing and funding are identified as the top two obstacles to collaboration
  • Modelling skills and capacities vary across organisations. This presents opportunities to share knowledge and develop consistent processes to ensure that modelling outputs are fit for purpose

There are existing NSW Government platforms that could allow better sharing[1] of water models and monitoring information such as SEED (www.seed.nsw.gov.au), Spatial Collaboration Portal (portal.spatial.nsw.gov.au) and the NSW Flood Data Portal (www.flooddata.ses.nsw.gov.au).

In its second year (2019-2020), the hub hosted its first annual knowledge sharing forum and delivered two special pilot project studies using the NSW Spatial Collaboration Portal for Water information sharing and Water model metadata sharing.

The MaMH Forum brought together 60 attendees from water related government teams, including representatives and facilitation support from the QWMN to share learnings from the MaMH first-year projects, participate in workshops highlighting best practice collaboration examples and to hear from industry leaders.

The second year pilot studies found that the Spatial Collaboration Portal is a viable option for sharing data within NSW Government (and with other interested parties) with significant benefits expected across the State. MaMH members have endorsed its use for water information sharing across NSW Government.

The MaMH is now working closely with its members and the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to overcome barriers and implement a whole of government solution to ensure discoverability and improve access to water information.

For more information about the NSW Modelling and Monitoring knowledge Hub and to download copies of the MaMH Special Projects summary reports please visit www.mamh.nsw.gov.au or contact the MaMH Chair, Ed Couriel, at [email protected]

[1] Open data has unrestricted public access whereas shared data is only available to defined groups under agreed terms.

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