HDWG Surface Water IE

For more information please contact innovation@ogc.org


This interoperability experiment will advance the development of WaterML 2.0, test its use with various OGC service standards (SOS, WFS, WMS and CSW). It will also contribute to the development of a hydrology domain feature model and vocabularies, which are essential for interoperability in the hydrology domain.

The use of O&M compliant WaterML 2.0 and OGC web services for data exchange will allow for easier access and interpretation of water data. The ultimate use of the exposed data will depend on the context of participating organizations and their driving requirements. We expect the IE will result in further development of WaterML 2.0, including a schema, example instances, and documentation describing the schema. It will also result in a documented evaluation of the compatibility of WaterML 2.0 with OGC services, which can feed back to OGC. In particular, surface water datasets typically contain a large number of observations at a small number of locations, which will test WaterML 2.0 in new ways. This contrasts and complements the Groundwater IE in which there are many locations with a comparative small number of observations. We expect that the project will discover issues related transferring large timeseries of observations. New and upgraded web services amongst participants are also expected, increasing the overall availability of water data and the interoperability of water information systems. Development of client applications is a secondary concern; the focus of work is testing information models and service delivery mechanisms.


The WMO is supporting the Interoperability Experiment within the scope of the existing MoU between OGC and WMO. The OGC members who initiated this Interoperability Experiment are:


Other OGC members participating in the Interoperability Experiment are:


This IE has the following objectives:

  1. Extend and complement the work already underway in IE 1, with the goal of advancing the development of WaterML 2.0 to the sub domain of surface water observations.
  2. Test compatibility of WaterML 2.0 with existing IOW-Sandre, DLZ-IT BMVBS, CUAHSI and USGS services and with implementation of the OGC SOS, WFS, WMS standards.
  3. Advance exchange of surface water data between Germany and France in the cross-border area of the Rhine/Rhin river, such that participants can dynamically and transparently access the data and utilize it with their respective information systems.
  4. Test compatibility of WaterML 2.0 for use with hydrological forecasting systems.
  5. Establish a limited surface water feature model and vocabularies suitable for the provision of surface water data using WaterML 2.0.
  6. The data will be served by all participants using WaterML 2.0 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 & Measurements (O&M) standard, to be used in conjunction with other OGC standards (e.g. Sensor Observation Service [SOS]) and services, for the transmission of a broad suite of water information. Development of WaterML 2.0 involves the harmonisation of several existing approaches (eg. WaterML (US), WDTF (Aus), Observations & Measurements [O&M], GroundwaterML [GWML], WISE-INSPIRE [EU] ), as well as the evaluation of their compatibility with existing web service standards and implementations (e.g. SOS, CUAHSI, USGS, GSC, CSW). This work has already commenced, with good progress being made through the Groundwater IE, which is focussing on groundwater aspects. This second Interoperability Experiment will make further advances and  expand the work into other areas of the domain.



Activity Plan submission:                                             April 2010

Anticipated OGC Review Board approval:                    May 2010
Includes posting for 2 weeks for member comments


Planned kickoff date (execution start date):                16 June 2010

Includes 30-day Participation Notification period

Milestone 1                                                                  September 2010

              Services available from KISTERS, USGS, CSIRO, IOW-Sandre, disy

              Clients and basic testing , KISTERS and 52° North

              Catalog delivery basic search functionality.

              Demonstration at Sept OGC TC meeting

Milestone 2                                                                  December 2010


Milestone 3                                                                  March 2011


Testing and bug fixing                                                  March 2011

Milestone 4                                                                  June 2011


Planned end date:                                                         June 2011


Wrap-up and Reporting

Technology Demonstration                                         June 2011

Final report submission                                                September 2011

For more information on this IE please see:

If you wish to participate in this IE, your organization must be willing make a resource commitment and a substantial contribution in one or more of the following areas:

Intellectual property: Intellectual property (IP) brought to the IE will remain with the participants. IP related to advancement of specific agency information systems will also remain with the participants. IP related to the development or advancement of OGC standards (e.g. WaterML 2.0) will rest with the Hydrology Domain Working Group and its joint authorities, the OGC and WMO. Any remaining IP that results from the IE will be jointly owned by all participants. The participants agree to respect the collaborative nature of the experiment with due acknowledgement of the participants and, if appropriate, undertake co-authorship in any ensuing materials.

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