Theme Sponsor 
Theme Working Group or Committees 
Water can be described by hydrology; the study of the movement, distribution and quality of water, including the hydrologic cycles, water resources, environmental watershed sustainability and groundwater systems. The Water theme focuses on datasets related to surface and groundwater and excludes atmospheric, industrial or oceanic water processes. Understanding water interactions requires knowledge of the features that make up the hydrological system such as catchments, streams, aquifers, floodplains, and storages.

Theme Purpose

Water security is one of Australia’s major challenges. The benefits of using these nationally consistent datasets and products are to facilitate better analysis, improve decision making and understand the resulting impacts.

An important element of the ANZ Foundation Spatial Data Framework (FSDF) Water theme is knowledge of the contained features; the catchments, streams, aquifers, floodplains and storages that make up the hydrological system. In developing and delivering water resource information the location of these features is as vital as the information about the interactions between the features.

Water information supports the government in addressing issues such as:

Climate change
Water and natural resource management, including coal seam gas extraction
Flood mapping
Emergency management
Hazard mitigation or disaster risk reduction
Environmental planning and monitoring
Urban development and agriculture
Insurance, engineering and mining


Theme Current Status 
Jurisdictions currently update the Water theme with information from relevant stakeholders and custodians through; data verification from other internal and external databases, imagery interpretation, research, and field investigations. Information is held at a range of scale 1:25 000 to 1:250 000 resulting in inconsistent accuracy and capture at the national level.
Theme Future Status 
Short Term objectives: To provide a nationally consistent suite of Water datasets which support and deliver water resource information to the Commonwealth, jurisdictions, local government, research and industry as well as linking location of these features across other foundation themes. Long Term Objectives include: Continued spatial upgrades of all Water theme datasets using the latest acquired imagery with improved resolution. Improvements to hydrological enforcement using the higher resolution elevation models Develop maintenance programs to update 1:100 000 and 1:50 000 jurisdictional programs

Theme Coverage

Complete, current and continuous coverage of agreed Water data set(s) for all Australia.