IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Open and Free Datasets for Hydrology Research: Insights, Challenges and Opportunities

Michelle Newcomer1, Nilay Dogulu2, Honeyeh Iravani3, Moctar Dembélé4, Gökçen Uysal5, Tirthankar Roy6, and Svenja Fischer7
Michelle Newcomer et al.
  • 1Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, U.S.A., (mnewcomer@lbl.gov)
  • 2Independent researcher, Ankara, Turkey (nilay.dogulu@gmail.com)
  • 3University College London (UCL), London, UK (honeyeh.iravani.11@ucl.ac.uk )
  • 4International Water Management Institute, CSIR Campus, No. 6 Agostino Neto Road, Accra, Ghana (moctar.dembele@cgiar.org)
  • 5Eskişehir Technical University, Turkey (gokcenuysal@eskisehir.edu.tr)
  • 6University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S.A., (roy@unl.edu)
  • 7Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (svenja.fischer@rub.de)

Open and free data underpin a new way of thinking about what is required to advance scientific discoveries. The fourth paradigm for hydrology, i.e. data-intensive science, can only lead to transformative science and groundbreaking findings if data is freely accessible. Open datasets are available online, are accessible in machine-readable formats (i.e. not pdfs or reports), and are obtainable by the public. Free refers to the availability of datasets  at no cost to individuals, researchers, institutions, or projects. Here, we provide a broad perspective on the current state of hydrological data including data quality, reliability, uncertainty, national and/or international data policies with a special focus on hydropolitics including current data policies. We also discuss the need for increasing awareness and improving visibility of existing datasets and dedicated projects and repositories. Crowdsourced scientific efforts enable collaborative work and provide potential solutions to these issues. We report on our work initiating a crowdsourced manuscript with an inventory of open and free hydrological datasets from around the world, providing a database of static links, data DOIs, descriptions of datasets, and the general typologies of these data including their usability, uncertainty, quality, and trustworthiness. Our work catalyzes new discussions around data requirements for advancing hydrological research.

How to cite: Newcomer, M., Dogulu, N., Iravani, H., Dembélé, M., Uysal, G., Roy, T., and Fischer, S.: Open and Free Datasets for Hydrology Research: Insights, Challenges and Opportunities, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-310, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-310, 2022.