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We live in an age where information is plentiful, and our ability to store and process it is nearly unlimited. However, there are significant inefficiencies in our information supply chains, so our ability to generate value from this information is limited. OzNome is a change initiative aiming to cultivate and embed a national information infrastructure, the OzNome Gel, into the foundations of the digital economy and hence the work practices of knowledge workers for the benefit of the entire Australian community. OzNome is a transformative process  aiming to cultivate and embed a national information infrastructure, that cuts across domains, not just within CSIRO or Australia, but with potential global impacts. Given expertise and capability within Land and Water Business Unit, we propose the OzNome for Water project. OzNome for Water will demonstrate the potential of a streamlined and efficient information supply chain in the water domain and its integration with the broader information economy, with enough technical and social overlaps to serve as an pathfinder for OzNome.

OzNome for Water is a key component of Phase 1 of the OzNome Initiative - CSIRONome. The rationale, key science questions, strategic importance and anticipated benefits are contained within the OzNome Business Case [1]. In OzNome for Water, the specific rationale and key science questions are:

  1. What are the key social and technical barriers that limit CSIRO’s ability to generate value from information within the water domain?
  2. How do we characterise and measure complexity around water information supply chains, measure potential to generate additional value, and capture OzNomic maturity levels?
  3. What transformation pathways are available to enable streamlined water information supply chains?
  4. What OzNome assets and opportunities exist within the Land and Water Business Unit? Can we develop these into OzNome implementations in the short term?
  5. How does OzNome for Water interact with information platform initiatives in the environmental domain abroad at local, national and international contexts?

This is strategically important as the cost of data (discovery, access and use) within the research sector is crippling innovation. The annual labour cost alone related to data on research projects within CSIRO is around $150M [1]. Therefore, significant savings are available for realisation through this project.

OzNome for Water is scoped to cover a number of water-related themes including: environmental water, water quality, future water availability, hydrology and hydrological modelling, groundwater, urban water, water resource assessments and cumulative impacts on water. OzNome for Water in this first phase will endeavour to capture, describe, curate, catalog and expose the knowledge and related ‘Oznomic’ assets held within Land and Water, and enhance discoverability, access and use for respective staff and affiliates. OzNome for Water will avoid duplication of resources but rather connect existing ‘Oznomic’ assets such as data services, catalogues, repositories and systems, e.g. CSIRO DAP, ePublish and Research Publications Repository, Australian Geoscience Data Cube, and IM&T data services. Significant data assets from previous and current projects within the Water Program will also be considered which include:

  1. Murray Darling Basin Sustainable Yields (MDBSY)
  2. Great Artesian Basin Water Resource Assessment (GABWRA)
  3. South West Western Australia Sustainable Yields (SWWASY)
  4. Tasmania Sustainable Yields (TASSY)
  5. Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment (FGARA)
  6. Northern Australia Sustainable Yields (NASY)
  7. Bioregional Assessments (BA)

The project will seek to characterise and measure OzNomic status and complexity, and identify opportunities for transforming existing assets in CSIRO Land and Water into fully developed OzNome implementations. This in turn will feed back into the OzNome Core knowledge base and initial knowledge capture activity, providing a knowledge base for future OzNome implementations. This will ultimately lead to efficiency gains within the water sector in Australia (and beyond).

In addition to the above, this project will:

  1. Create a culture of realising greater value from data within the WRM Program
  2. Develop a Water Program ‘Science as a Service’ Marketplace through which the Program delivers key scientific outputs
  3. Be an early contributor to/adopter of OzNome
  4. Work with the OzNome Core and other OzNome pathfinder projects on common methodologies and tools to capture, implement and quantify gained efficiencies and savings from transformative change activities
  5. Influence our key innovation partners (GA, MDBA, States, BOM) in the adoption of OzNome methods and tools
  6. Achieve a scientific outcome in the water research space that is currently deemed unachievable because of the lack OzNome tools and methods


[1] Lemon, D., Barnett, P.,  Box, P. and Fitch, P. (2015), OzNome Business Case, Internal Document

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