Stream, funded by Ofwat, is at the start of their Implementation Phase. In September we held the second meeting of the Market & User Needs Advisory Group and the first meeting of the Technical Requirements and Operating Model Advisory Group. These groups have been convened to help advise and support project partners as they commence work on Stream’s Implementation Phase.

The Stream partners are working towards two key milestones in the period from September 2023 to April 2024; delivering a minimum viable product (MVP) for initial open data releases in December 2023 and a functional platform in April 2024.

Stream’s Advisory Groups provide vital guidance and feedback to Stream’s workstreams as the programme moves forward in the Implementation Phase. These groups include subject matter experts from water companies and other industry stakeholders.

Here is a summary of what was discussed during the September meetings:

Market & User Needs Advisory Group

  • We heard a presentation on the definition of a Use Case, with the example of EV on-street charge points from Open Energy
  • The group were shown and asked to comment on the provisional research plan for Use Cases for Day 1 launch; the aim is to have 2-3 use cases ready for prioritisation by the AG in the October meeting
  • Discussion on how this use-case research focuses on unlocking value for end users and will push innovation within Stream. A point was raised that we should be looking at freedom of information requests to determine the data that consumers already request. If this data was available it would open up data already requested while making it easier for water companies to answer requests.
  • The MVP feasibility study was presented by the workstream lead, next steps laid out and feedback requested.
  • Two water-company datasets were approved for publishing as part of the MVP, two more it was agreed to continue investigating, with more guidance for water companies on how to deliver these datasets.
  • Water companies approval processes and timescales were discussed and how these compare between companies; also discussed was the work planned on data standardisation.

This group will meet again in October 2023.

Technical Requirements & Operating Model

  • We heard an update on the timeline of the MVP (interim data publishing platform and initial Open Data published) and Day 1 solution (full live platform launch), and the procurement process for the Day 1 solution.
  • The MVP workstream team presented their MVP feasibility study.
  • The planned development of a temporary data storage solution for MVP was discussed, with enquiries on whether an off the shelf solution could be used.
  • The cyber security of the MVP platform was raised, with water companies requesting that they see a formal plan to enable legal sign-off within their organisations to publish data via the platform.
  • We heard a brief overview of Open Energy
  • Following a summary of next steps for MVP, the MVP workstream sought guidance from water companies following the meeting on
    • Expected turnaround time from Water Companies regarding data requests for the platform/use cases
    • Anonymised data styles expected
    • Where to host MVP platform

This group will meet again in November, with an interim working group planned for October 2023.