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Developed by Open Geospatial Consortium
Latest release
Type of format Time series
Extended from XML
Open format? Yes, with Copyright[1]

WaterML is a technical standard and information model used to represent hydrological time series structures. The current version is WaterML 2.0, released an open standard[2] of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).


WaterML 1.0[edit]

Version 1.0 of WaterML was published in 2009 by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science.[3] WaterML 1.0 (and 1.1) is an XML exchange format developed for use specifically in the United States.

WaterML 2.0[edit]

WaterML 2.0 is an open standard[2] of the OGC. Version 2.0 marks a harmonisation with different formats from various organisations and countries, including the Australian Water Data Transfer Format, WaterML 1.0 from the United States,[3] XHydro from Germany, and with existing OGC formats. WaterML 2.0 was adopted as an official standard by the OGC in September 2012,[4][5] endorsed by the US Federal Geographic Data Committee,[6] and has been proposed for adoption by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).[7]

Example uses include: exchange of data for operational hydrological monitoring programs; supporting operation of infrastructure (e.g. dams, supply systems); cross-border exchange of observational data; release of data for public dissemination; enhancing disaster management through data exchange; and exchange in support of national reporting. The standard was developed through a harmonisation process[8] by members of the joint OGC-WMO Hydrology Domain Working Group.[9]


WaterML 2.0 makes use of existing OGC standards, primarily Observations and Measurements (O&M) and the Geography Markup Language (GML). This enhances consistency and interoperability with other standards and web services. Through use of the O&M standard, WaterML 2.0 defines types allowing for standard definition of the core properties relating to hydrological time series, including:

  • The observed phenomenon
  • Spatial context
  • Temporal bounds
  • Procedure used in generating the time series (e.g. raw data from a sensor)
  • Result-specific metadata, such as time series qualifiers, interpolation types, comments, quality codes etc.
  • Monitoring points
  • Collections of related objects
  • Vocabularies for domain-specific terms

The core information model is defined using the Unified Modelling Language, allowing for flexibility in creating implementation-specific encodings. The standard defines a GML-conformant XML encoding allowing for use with OGC Web Services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OGC Document Notice". Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b OGC WaterML 2.0, Open Geospatial Consortium, 2014-02-24 
  3. ^ a b Valentine, David; Zaslavsky, Ilya (June 11, 2009), CUAHSI WaterML 1.0 (PDF), Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science 
  4. ^ [1], OGC press release
  5. ^ [2], CSIRO press release
  6. ^ [3], FGDC press release
  7. ^ [4], WMO, Resolution 3, Commission for Hydrology session November 2012 - Abridged final report with resolutions and recommendations
  8. ^ [5], Taylor, P.; Cox, S.; Walker, G.; Valentine, D; Sheahan, P. WaterML 2.0: Development of an open standard for hydrological time series data exchange. Journal of Hydroinformatics. doi:10.2166/hydro.2013.174.
  9. ^ [6] WMO/OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group wiki page