Developing the Water and Energy Supply and Consumption (WESC) Data Standard

Collaborating to make nationally consistent water and energy

consumption data available to researchers

Given increasing pressures from population growth and land use change, Australian researchers from academia and government require access to high value water and energy (WE) consumption data for planning and decision-making purposes. While recent initiatives from the federal government have sought to unlock data at different levels, further work is needed to harmonise and prepare these datasets for seamless integration, comparison and analyses over space-time. For this purpose AURIN and CSIRO Land and Water collaborated in 2015 to develop a protocol for improving access and use of WE data that led to the creation of the WE Supply and Consumption (WESC) model, which is now publicly available on GitHub.

The success of this early model was demonstrated in a data harmonisation proof-of-concept called the AURIN-CSIRO WESC hub, which streamed (now historical) data from 9 utilities across Australia via the AURIN Workbench. Recently, the EUDM and NEAR projects extended the WESC model to handle new classes and proposed new elements. Towards operationalising the model for the provision of new data, this project proposes evaluating the extended model, by: applying it to government/industry data and applications; inviting feedback from key stakeholders; and using the results to enhance the existing AURIN-CSIRO WESC hub. Specifically, this project aims to address the following questions:

  • What is Australian researcher feedback on the value of the data supplied via the current, extended WESC model?
  • Does the extended WESC model need to be further modified to handle other/new kinds of WE data?
  • What is needed to update the existing AURIN-CSIRO WESC hub with new data and make it FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable)?
  • How can WE data services (providers, advocates and infrastructures) be incentivised to participate for sustainability of the AURIN-CSIRO WESC hub?

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Project information:

This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne., ethics ID number: 1955041.

This project is supported by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).