The main user of the CatchX platform was originally envisaged as a water steward, much like that embodied in the Alliance for Water Stewardship, who define water stewardship as “the use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site- and catchment-based actions.” During development of the platform, it became obvious that there are lots of other potential users of the water data on the platform and this was explored through user stories in the platform development workshop. Essentially, anyone who needs easily accessible water information for a catchment will now have equitable access to the latest cutting edge hydrological data.
Take a look at the reports that form part of the CatchX project developed by the University of Leeds, Rhodes University and Earthwatch.
The development of the CatchX platform was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK, in order to accelerate the uptake of NERC funded science research. It is one of the first platforms that goes beyond providing access to datasets from a single research project, but instead focuses on the user and providing relevant, compatible datasets in a form they can use directly. The first 18 months of the project were focused on the development of the platform which is now fully live on a global scale and accessible for all. NERC have also funded the longer term hosting of the platform until the end of 2021 during which time, efforts will focus on collecting feedback from platform users and identifying development directions.
The long term aim is to continue to refine and further develop the platform based on users’ feedback, so we strongly encourage you to let us know what your thoughts and experiences are with using this platform. Let us know the good, the bad and the ugly, in the feedback form and we will feed these into the next development phase, funding and interest dependent. We already have ideas to extend the platform in terms of: increasing the range of datasets, extending the time period covered, keeping datasets current, allowing the input of local data (e.g. locally gauged flows and rainfall), adding artificial influences on river flows such as abstractions, flow duration curve visualisation, and so on. If you can see value in extending the platform for your specific needs, we are fully open to discussing how this could be achieved together, so please get in touch.