Trends in the hydrological monitoring industry.

The Water Monitoring Industry – Rapid Modernization and Growth

Aquatic Informatics’ global survey of over 700 water professionals in 90 countries puts a spotlight on an industry undergoing rapid change. Key trends include significant growth in network size, modernization of monitoring technology, and an increasing demand for comprehensive data management systems.

After months of refining survey questions, collecting responses, and analyzing the results, the new report Global Hydrological Monitoring Industry Trends has been released. I am excited to share this international study with customers and members of the community, so we can all benefit. It is no surprise that the water monitoring industry is undergoing rapid evolution worldwide. The challenges lie in understanding and keeping pace with the changes. By identifying the most drastic changes in water monitoring technologies, standards, strategies, and best practices, this new report equips water professionals with the information they need to best prioritize their investments in 2013, and over the next 10 years, to keep pace with the industry and to modernize their hydrological monitoring programs.

The new report Global Hydrological Monitoring Industry Trends report is available to help water professionals better plan for the future.

Growing global populations. Increasing climate uncertainty. Mounting threats from floods. More complex regulations. Changing international standards. Today, water professionals are facing enormous pressure to deliver more high quality, real-time hydrological information, needed to better manage precious water resources in a complicated environment. The water monitoring industry is responding with the rapid adoption of modern technologies – more networks are collecting continuous data in real-time.  Water professionals surveyed expect their network to grow by 53% more stations over the next decade, with a similar level of growth in use of telemetry and web enabled sensors. Similarly, there is a shift to the use of acoustic measurement devices from 15% a decade ago to 47% today, and usage is forecasted to grow to 52% by 2022. Expanded networks, new modern technologies, and real-time operations mean an ever increasing mountain of data. When asked about their current data management system, respondents were most unsatisfied with its ability to keep up with the evolving requirements. This is largely a reflection of the high percentage of the respondents using spreadsheets or an in-house or custom-built solution.

In comparison, those using a commercial solution reported being better able to meet stakeholder expectations for real-time data products and services, metadata availability, higher level analysis, and timely reporting and publishing.

Personally, most of the findings in the report confirm what I have been hearing in my global travels; however, not all results were as I had expected.

Two standout results included the rate of change to a more gender balanced workforce, and the global reach of U.S. Geological Survey influence.

Women accounted for only 1 in 6 hydrographers in 2002 and are forecasted to account for more than 1 in 3 by 2022. Given how male-dominated this market has been historically, this rate of change is impressive and is good news for our industry. Likewise, I was pleased to see how influential the USGS is outside of North America. 2 of 3 respondents in our global survey use, or plan to use, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) accepted standard operating procedure reference documents.  I’m happy to see this not only because the USGS has selected AQUARIUS, but also because I have the highest level of respect for the USGS techniques and methods and I believe their wide adoption ultimately means better data, globally.

The future is bright. High quality hydrological information is becoming more readily available to make important and timely decisions about the world’s precious water resources.

The comprehensive 30-page report includes 35 informative graphs. It identifies current salary trends for hydrologists. It reveals a more educated workforce that includes a growing number of women.

Survey Report: Global Hydrological Monitoring Industry Trends

700+ water professionals participated in this global hydrological monitoring study. How can you keep pace with the industry revolution? Get this report for the latest trends, standards, and practices.

1 Comment
  • Padmakar Kelkar
    Posted at 6:15 am, December 23, 2012

    Sorry my earlier email address was wrong.


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