Water Quality 85% open

Great Britain

What data is expected?

Data, measured at the water source, on the quality of water is essential for both the delivery of services and the prevention of diseases. The Index either looks at the quality of designated drinking water sources, or of environmental water sources (if drinking water data is not available). See our methodology for more information. In order to satisfy the minimum requirements for this category, data should be available on level of the following chemicals by water source.

  • Fecal coliform
  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride levels
  • Nitrates
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Data per water source
  • Available for entire country

How open is the data?

All answers

Question Answer Comment
Openly licenced Yes Data from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive is re-usable under the Open Government Licence, as are the annual reports from the drinking water regulators.
In an open and machine-readable format CSV This answer refers to downloads from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive. Outputs from the drinking water regulators are mainly in PDF.
Downloadable at once Yes Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive data is available as a single download per year but, as noted above, this data covers only England.
Up-to-date No The most recent public data available from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive is for 2015.
Publicly available Yes Answered Yes as some data is accessible online. However coverage is far from complete. See comments below.
Available free of charge Yes
findable 2 Water quality data for Britain is not generally well signposted. (EA's Water Quality Archive was launched in early 2016 but is light on documentation.)
findable_steps I had pre-existing knowledge of the agencies responsible and the location of their data. However I also performed searches of Google, Data.gov.uk and Gov.uk, and explored the websites of the above mentioned agencies in order to establish whether there was further data available.
licence_url http://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/
Collected by government Yes
usability 2 This answer refers to data from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive.
collector_name Environment Agency (England); Natural Resources Wales; Scottish Environment Protection Agency; Drinking Water Inspectorate (England and Wales); Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland Rivers and other water bodies are monitored by Environment Agency (England), Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Public water supplies are monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (England and Wales) and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland.
characteristics Fecal coliform, Arsenic, Fluoride levels, Nitrates, Total Dissolved Solids, Data per water source These response are based on data available, most recently for 2015, from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive. Measurements are based on 58 thousand sampling points in rivers and other water bodies. Please note that these are not specifically drinking water sources. Equivalent public data is not available for Scotland or Wales. Annual reports from the drinking water regulators do not provide detailed data or data in a re-usable format.
location http://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/ - Water Quality Archive (Environment Agency), http://www.dwi.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2015/index.ht - Annual Reports (Drinking Water Inspectorate), http://dwqr.scot/information/annual-report/ - Annual Reports (Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland)
This submission needs careful consideration on review, as the scores exclusively refer to England's Water Quality Archive (only applying to English water quality). There are significant gaps in coverage. Although the release of EA's Water Quality Archive represents progress since last year, availability of open data on water quality in Great Britain remains generally poor and coverage far from complete. Background: The monitoring of water quality is divided in Great Britain. Rivers and other water bodies are monitored by the Environment Agency (England), Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Public water supplies (this includes water from taps) are monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (England and Wales) and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland.

Only EA's water data is published in CSV format. Water quality reports for the entire British territory are only available as PDF. Data from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive is re-usable under the Open Government Licence, as are the annual reports from the drinking water regulators. The most recent public data available from Environment Agency's Water Quality Archive is for 2015. Data can be downloaded at once, but only for English territory. Water quality reports are available at: http://www.dwi.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2016/index.html http://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/view/landing

Meta data

Data location   http://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/ - Water Quality Archive (Environment Agency)
   http://www.dwi.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2015/index.ht - Annual Reports (Drinking Water Inspectorate)
   http://dwqr.scot/information/annual-report/ - Annual Reports (Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland)
Data licence   http://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/
Data format   CSV
Reviewer   Danny Lämmerhirt
Submitters   Owen Boswarva
Last modified   Fri Dec 09 2016 04:49:13 GMT+0000 (UTC)