Data and Tools

example UK drought map
UK Drought Map (© Matt Fry, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)

The aim of the Data workstream was to create a comprehensive state-of-the art data resource on UK drought, delivering consistent access to the wide range of metrics, indicators, model outputs, narratives and histories being developed across the programme, as well as tailored access to these resources via tools and multimedia outputs, to maximise their use within specific sectors and activities.

For many of About Drought’s datasets and tools you do not need technical skills. In many cases, such as the UK Water Resources Portal, anyone with an interest in current water resources or drought conditions can use it – from policymakers to members of the public, businesses to farmers and regulators to consultants.

The Data workstream was an integrating activity, engaging with the other sectoral workstreams, gathering requirements from end users via those WSs and building data storage infrastructure and services for data access, and interfaces to the data (e.g. visualisations and tools) appropriate to the user needs.

The Data workstream has:

  • Integrated data from the existing drought projects and delivered a coherent set of outputs from the DWS programme as a whole; storing this data consistently in a way that can be delivered to end users and used to advance decision making across different sectors;
  • Co-developed a series of data access protocols for the datasets stored, enabling programmatic access across the sectors addressed by the ENDOWS workstreams, and tools to allow easy access to subsets of large datasets;
  • Developed the interfaces and communication tools being co-designed in the ENDOWS Workstreams, to allow visualisation and enhanced access to programme datasets by end users across sectors based on requirements co-produced by stakeholders.

The DWS Programme projects have produced substantial datasets with the potential to transform drought planning and management. Each project will be archiving its significant outputs to ensure ongoing accessibility. However, genuine uptake by end users from across sectors required data delivery tailored to specific needs.
ENDOWS has identified opportunities to integrate data outputs from across the programme and exploit these within decision-making processes. There is a need to ensure the ongoing legacy of the DWS Programme data, enabling continued accessibility to end users, not only via research data centres but through the many data delivery mechanisms and interfaces (websites, apps, etc.) appropriate to user needs as identified in the sector-specific work streams.

Published October 2019

Further resources:

UK Water Resources Portal
UK Drought Portal
Drought Data Hub
Drought Inventory Explorer
Monthly Hydrological Outlooks
The DRY Utility
Full Index of datasets and tools
Full index of published papers and reports
National Water Resources Model
About Drought: Spatial Data Inventory