HDWG Groundwater IE

For more information please contact innovation@ogc.org



The GW IE was designed to: (1) test the use of both WaterML 2 and Groundwater ML (GWML) with the SOS and WFS OGC web services, respectively, (2) test compatibility with industry software clients, and (3) to facilitate sharing of massive volumes of sensor-based water level observations and related water-well features across the Canada and USA border.

The GW IE concluded that delivery of groundwater feature data via WFS and GWML, and delivery of groundwater observation data via SOS and WaterML 2, was adequate for schematic interoperability across the US and Canada border, only once best practices were developed for the deployment of these standards and related technologies. It also concluded that deployment of the standards, specifications, and best practices by clients allowed for reasonable viewing and downloading of feature and observation data. However, querying groundwater observations, as time series, is still a challenging task requiring further development of standards.

Several issues and change requests to OGC SOS were identified to improve support for WaterML 2 as a profile of O&M. Many of these were addressed in SOS 2.0, but others remain. See OGC 10-194r3 GWIE Final Report, and GW IE twiki for details.


The OGC members who initiated this Interoperability Experiment are:


Other OGC members participating in the Interoperability Experiment are:


This IE had the following objectives:

  1. Advance development of WaterML 2.0 through a focused test case that comprises a first attempt at harmonizing WaterML 1.0/1.1, WDTF 1.0, O&M, and GWML.
  2. Test compatibility of WaterML 2.0 with existing CUAHSI, USGS, and GSC services, and with implementation of the SOS, WFS, WMS, and CSW standards. Various issues will be examined, including those related to using OGC services for a large number of locations with few observations, and those related to determining the appropriate granularity for data delivery using CSW and SOS.
  3. Advance exchange of groundwater data (water well characteristics, groundwater levels, and possibly flow rates) between Canada and the USA, in the cross-border area of the Lake Superior basin, such that participants can dynamically and transparently access the data and utilize it with their respective information systems. The data was served by Canadian and US participants using WaterML 2.0, GWML and OGC services (SOS, WFS, WMS).


Members of the OGC/WMO Domain Working Group in Hydrology are developing WaterML 2.0, a profile of OGC Observations & Measurement (O&M) standard to be used in conjunction with various OGC web service standards for the transmission of water resources time series data. Development of WaterML 2.0 involves the harmonization of several existing representations such as WaterML (US), WDTF (Aus), Observations & Measurements (O&M—OGC), GroundwaterML (GWML—Can). It also includes the evaluation of their compatibility with existing web service standards such as SOS and WFS, and their implementations by USGS, GSC and CUAHSI. The GW IE was undertaken to gain prototyping experience with these technologies and trans-jurisdictional data exchange issues, for the development and refinement of WaterML 2.0.  

For more information on this IE please see:

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