EA & SEPA support OS MasterMap Water Network – how does this benefit you?

Following the press release on OS MasterMap Water Network, Product Manager Jessica Gaskell discusses the product further in this guest blog…

As the first comprehensive, single dataset covering Great Britain’s watercourses, I am delighted to say that OS MasterMap Water Network has now become a full product!

The OS MasterMap Water Network product means the data on all the watercourses in GB will be in one place. It is a nationally consistent, topologically structured data of all GB’s watercourses. It identifies how our watercourses interact with each other through the detailed scale of mapping, direction of flow and the primary flow channels alongside giving key information into the characteristics of the watercourse including name, catchment information, gradient and width (to name a few!).

Product background

OS MasterMap Water Network combined with height data.

The Environment Agency (EA) maintained their own Detailed River Network (DRN) product which was an accurate network available for England and Wales while Scotland did not have their own equivalent. This led to the Scottish Government and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) approaching us to work on creating a detailed network product for Scotland’s watercourses. Working alongside both EA and SEPA, OS MasterMap Water Network for GB was born!

OS MasterMap Water Network was initially launched in June 2015. For this, we worked closely with EA and SEPA to create the product specification and to map all 364,177 miles of Great Britain’s watercourses – which was a task in itself!

Since 2015, we have been working to develop the product even further. In doing so, we have made 850,000 improvements to the data focused on watercourse connectivity, flow direction, contiguous watercourse naming and identifying the primary flow path.

This latest release (April 2019) is particularly exciting though because not only is it now a full product, we have reached a key milestone where OS MasterMap Water Network will underpin use cases for public sector! In addition, EA has confirmed they will migrate from DRN to the OS MasterMap Water Network by gradually implementing it across their relevant systems and projects.

How can it be used?

The OS MasterMap Water Network could be used through a range of markets including environmental management, land and property as well as flood risk management. The type of use cases EA and SEPA are anticipating include:

  • Managing and reporting water quality
  • Fishery management
  • Assessing permits along watercourses
  • Hydrological modelling
  • Catchment delineation
  • Tracking water flows and contamination
  • Flood predication, protection and response measures
  • Ecological Studies

Who can access it and how?

The product is available through our OS Orders platform and through our Partner Channel. For public sector the dataset is available for free at point of use, and for all other organisation there are commercial terms in place. If you’d like more information on the product, please visit our website.

Going forward

This isn’t the end of our collaboration with EA and SEPA, so watch this space! We will carry on working together to ensure OS MasterMap Water Network continues to meet their needs as well as those of other customers. To do this, we hold quarterly teleconferences to discuss product developments and data improvements. This forum is planned to continue so if you’d like to be involved, please get in touch via business.enquiries@os.uk.

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4 Responses

  1. Well done OS/EA/SEPA! The level of detail in the WaterLayer is astonishing and will underpin all sorts of research , modelling and management. Looking forward to getting my hands on the latest release.

    1. Jocelyn

      Thanks for your question Andrew, however unfortunately we do not offer specific terms for premium data for flood action groups. Apologies, Jocelyn

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