Water & Rivers Commission

- By:

Courtesy of KISTERS AG

The Water and Rivers Commission manages the water resources of Western Australia with an area of about 2.5 million square kilometres. The Information and Systems Group in the Hydrologic Measurement Support Section at the Water and Rivers Commission maintains data archives SWRIS (State Water Resources Information System) and Hydstra. SWRIS is used predominantly for the storage of water quality information. The Hydstra database is used predominantly for the storage of continuous streamflow, rainfall, water quality and climate data. The group processes and audits data to SWRIS and Hydstra as well as providing data to users and clients. We also provide support for SWRIS and Hydstra in terms of training, installation, maintenance and user support.

Our Activities:

Water Information

We provide the information and understanding needed to guide planning and decisions for the best management of the State’s water resources.


We make sure that water is allocated and used efficiently to maintain environmental values and support sustainable development into the future.

Protection and Enhancement

We protect wetlands, waterways and water supplies and restore degraded environments through land and water use planning and management.

Scope of the System


Each of our Regions has a Hydstra installation plus a main archive in Perth and several local copies of Hydstra. The 10 Regional installations are mainly used for processing of logger data, production of ratings, storage of cross sections and gaugings. The main archive in Perth is mainly used for the extraction and provision of data to clients.

In total we maintain 17 Hydstra installations plus around 6 local copies where the data is maintained on an individual PC and not in the Perth or Regional Archive. Hydstra is installed on 9 servers in the Commission.

Data Collection Sites

There are approximately 1100 loggers are in operation including 360 stream level sites, 450 rainfall sites and 65 conductivity sites

Data Holdings

The Water & Rivers commission currently store about 6.5 to 7 Gb of continuous data and approximately 500 Mb of water quality data. This includes approximately 9 300 years of stage data, 15 000 years of rainfall data and 600 years of conductivity data.

We have a total of around 27 000 years of continuous data including 3705141 days of data (~300 Mb) currently in our Hydstra archive.

Before Hydstra

Before Hydstra all of our data was stored on our mainframe system (SWRIS). The move to Hydstra came when we changed from recording data on strip charts using A35’s to using UNIDATA data loggers. The main reason was to use Hydstra’s graphical data editor HYEDIT. Data is (still) transferred from Hydstra to SWRIS for long term storage. However we do maintain an archive of mainly stage data in Hydstra. We are currently in the process of migrating all of our continuous data, gaugings, ratings and cross sections from SWRIS to Hydstra. When this is complete Hydstra will be the main archive for all of this data.

Main Benefits

The main benefit that we initially gained from Hydstra was the ability to view and edit data graphically. Once data is migrated from SWRIS to Hydstra mainframe storage and processing costs will be reduced dramatically. Hydstra provides convenient and efficient methods for entering, storing, extracting and analysing data. The Information and Systems Group predominantly use Hydstra for the extraction of streamflow and rainfall data for clients. Our hydrologists and engineers use Hydstra predominantly for analysis and extraction of streamflow and rainfall data.

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