Thursday, 16th July 2020

Aquatic environment information system

Agència Catalana de l’Aigua

Areas of Activity: Information Systems

Sectors of Operation: Freshwaters, Dammed waters, Dams, Groundwaters, Seawater, Drainage Networks



This aquatic environment information system is a data warehouse system that integrates, centralizes and permanently stores all the environmental parameter measurements from internal Catalan river basins, whether information generated by the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) or information from third parties.

It offers users an easy-to-use environment for making queries based on a Business Intelligence reporting and analysis tool, giving access to information via light clients, including PDA mobile clients.

The system started up in 2003 in a pilot format which over the years has acquired new analytical functionalities, with new information sources and a widening spectrum of users, of which there are currently some 120.

The system’s main goals are as follows:
• Providing reliable, centralized information on the state of the aquatic environment and any incidents in it
• Giving direct access to information for end users
• Providing a common level of technical information for all users in the Agency’s various departments
• Promoting an information culture as opposed to a culture of “raw data”
• Reducing costs and the time involved in preparing and accessing information
• Rationalizing the procedures associated with the processes involved in the management of technical environmental information
• Managing knowledge of the aquatic environment

It integrates phenomenological information from automatic and manual networks monitoring surface, ground and coastal waters with internal ACA information and data from partner bodies (CHE, AGBAR, ATLL, etc.). This integration involves automatic and manual assimilation mechanisms and a manual data entry application.

It offers a unique online, integrated information analysis environment, providing users with various analytical scenarios:
• A basic, generic scenario for analysis of parameter measurements in the surface and subterranean aquatic environment. Hydrological, meteorological and physiochemical, chemical and biological quality parameters
• A drought management scenario, based on water resource management metrics and indicators and geared to decision-making in water demand management
• A water body status management scenario in accordance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), enabling the user to analyze the ecological and chemical status of surface waters and the chemical and quantitative status of groundwater. This scenario allows us to evaluate compliance with the WFD objective, and the trend in each water body
• A forecast management scenario, for forecasts of both consumption and weather, which, along with actual demand and consumption data, allows demand to be adjusted and managed

Moreover, the system is the official publisher of phenomenological information on the aquatic environment at both internal and external level. Its publishing and dissemination services include postings on the internet, dissemination of information and a set of information access mechanisms for external bodies.

In technological terms it is a high-availability system consisting of an Oracle database, the Business Objects tool, a series of applications developed in J2ee architecture and a set of web services aligned with the Agency’s SOA architecture.

Currently the system is being used by some one hundred internal ACA users and some 30 external bodies. The system currently has historical information series going back to 1913, and permanently stores all of the Agency’s historical data. This historical archive consists of 700 million records in the database which, thanks to a model designed on data-warehousing guidelines, allows fast and efficient user access.