Data and Information Management

River restoration and management is a complex task involving multiple complementary studies. In general, these studies involve sampling, measurement, data analysis and modeling to arrive at conclusions which form the basis for policymaking. Except a few basic measurements, most of the studies depend on the measurements or results from other studies or departments for their own analysis. Hence it is pertinent to have a sensible, usable and accessible database of all data relevant to river science.
Having such a database would limit the hassles encountered by researchers and policymakers in trying to find and obtain useful data related to their work. This step has many advantages in addition to saving time and effort which could be directed to more fruitful pursuits. The task of river monitoring is very involved and cannot be accomplished by a single individual or even a research group. It is helpful in such cases to delegate the task of a particular sampling or analysis to other groups. Often, the required data is already available but either its presence and availability is not widely known or the process of obtaining it is very cumbersome.

The central idea behind this portfolio is to create a central database of data related to river science on a data server. Researchers and policymakers will get access to this server through registration for storing data of their respective field of specialization and downloading data relevant to their field of study. The server would be moderated by a system administrator who would monitor the system against unauthorized access and virus attacks. Through this facility, researchers will have access to all the data related to river science at one place instead of having to browse multiple sources for different segments of their study. Intercomparison of same data as measured by different groups can be done and also consistency of similar data can be assessed. Such intercomparison exercise would help in locating possible errors in sampling or analysis, and also in arriving at a uniform standard protocol for such procedures. Another application of this exercise is obtaining an archive of all data over an extended period of time. This would help in time-series analysis of river health which would reveal the details about the efficacy of various restoration and control measures carried out from time to time. This in turn would help in modifying the methods or policies, if required.

Having a large central database would come to no avail if end users and researchers are not aware of its existence. Hence awareness in this regard need to be spread through email distribution lists, newsletters, social media, and presentations at various fora such as symposiums, conferences and seminars.

The various activities under this portfolio are: collection, cleaning and archiving, analytics and dissemination.