A Public Version of Enki to Democratize Access to Open Data
Located in southwest France, the Syndicat intercommunal du bassin d’Archachon (SIBA), a local intercommunal organization, is mainly responsible for wastewater treatment, rainwater management, flood prevention and water quality monitoring throughout its territory, which is comprised of 12 municipalities.
More specifically, it manages and secures 3 independent sanitation systems – consisting of more than 200 km of network, 5 purification plants, 7 safety basins and more than 450 pumping stations. It also monitors the water quality of the 28 bathing sites distributed throughout its territory and participates in several research projects on issues related to the quality of the watershed’s waters. In total, SIBA collects more than 800 samples each year from more than 50 monitoring points in fresh, marine, or waste waters.
In order to optimize the management of the data and metadata produced through its various activities, SIBA wished to implement an information system that would also make its raw data public, thus meeting the ‘open access’ obligation all French publicly funded organisations are subject to.
In 2018, SIBA began looking for a tool capable of compiling and aggregating all environmental data from its monitoring studies and make them accessible to all.
After conducting an analysis of the market supply, SIBA selected WaterShed Monitoring’s Enki platform, a technological solution designed for the storage of water-related data and information. This choice was the obvious one mainly due to the additional features available to users. Metadata support ensures its long-term traceability, in addition to facilitating its validation through integrated quality assurance and control mechanisms.
The WaterShed Monitoring team worked with SIBA for a whole year to configure Enki and set its parameters according to the organization’s needs. Training sessions were organized to help staff become familiar with their new work tool. Then came the time to start populating the database with historical data from the previous 10 years.
WaterShed Monitoring’s IT experts were able to program tailored streams to ensure the automatic transfer of relevant data between Enki and SIBA’s geographical platform for the visualization of bathing water quality, thus eliminating human intervention in the process.
The IT experts have also created a simplified version of the Enki software, which is freely and openly accessible to every citizen upon request. After registering through a fully automated process on SIBA’s website, users can view the raw data stored in Enki, apply filters to refine their searches, generate plots, and export the data that is relevant to them.
SIBA’s platform enabling public access to water quality data has been online since February 2020. When it went live, more than 121 964 items of data were accessible to users – a figure that has since kept growing. Two years later, 2 100 000 probe and laboratory data were recorded on the platform.