Groundwater Office at Water Corporation
Groundwater asset information was previously stored across multiple systems within Water Corporation. This data was managed by various business units creating duplication of information and the loss of information considered not important. Investigations relating to groundwater were thus time consuming and resource heavy creating delays in providing advice and additional time allocations/rework for each project. Further, some regulatory commitments were not being entirely met and quality assurances of the data could not be guaranteed.
The catalyst for change was caused when a production bore in the Leederville aquifer was proposed within the Whitfords Borefield to provide flexibility in Perth’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme. However, a Leederville bore had been previously been drilled at this site identifying unsuitable water quality. The report identifying the water quality was not easily accessible and only a casual conversation at the planning phase identified the issue. This resulted in a cost avoidance of ~$2,500,000 in rework associated with completing a production well in this area and saving 6-9 months in project delay.
Water Corporation investigated several products that would provide:
- A central data source that could provide a ‘Source of Truth’ on hydrogeological information;
- Ability to capture all information in a consistent approach (QA/QC);
- Integration with the Asset Registration process; and
- A tool for ongoing Asset Management and Operations.
Water Corporation identified a combination of Smallworld’s Groundwater Office and GeODin software as the preferred solution. In addition, Groundwater Office (GWO) provided the ability to link with other databases to provide a ‘One-Stop-Shop’, in particular ODSS which stores water quality and summarised operational data.
GeODin is a platform designed to aid with a consistent approach to documentation of hydrogeological and drilling data. The system provides a method by which all those involved in groundwater investigations and drilling data acquisition, analysis and reporting may remain aligned with a consistent and proper documentation standard. It also allows for consultants to have a tool for direct input of data into Water Corporations system without the need for double handling of the data.
GWO is the repository of groundwater bore/well related data which can then be utilised with other programs throughout Water Corporation. It is connected to SAP, Water Office, and ODSS to ensure there is a single point of truth for all data and has the ability to output data into specifically designed reports within GWO or other programs including Datalab and GeODin.
Even though the current migration and use of GWO is still in its infancy, significant efficiencies have already been seen on a day-to-day review of data. The biggest challenge has been aligning the data within several databases into one repository, especially where conflicting information may exist. Changes have been completed on an incremental basis: firstly inputting the data into GWO; secondly aligning with asset registration information; thirdly the inclusion of new data; and finally an iterative approach to ongoing QA/QC of data. This method has meant that while data currently may not be accurate, consistency across different systems has now occurred and allows for changes to be made in one location, GWO, which can then be reflected across the different systems.
GWO also has significant functionality that is currently not being utilised. With its highly flexible framework allowing for complex queries, the data can be interrogated in infinite ways allowing for the system to be set up for risk assessments and asset management. The ability to store specific filters allows for regular tasks to be set up and saved by more experienced administrative users, making the queries available for general users at the click of a button. Its flexibility with connecting to other databases will also allow for all data collected by Water Corporation to potentially be available within the one database.