In October & November Stream’s Steering Group, Market & User Needs Advisory Group (AG1), and the Technical Requirements and Operating Model Advisory Group (AG2) all met – AG2 met twice in this period . These groups have been convened to help advise and support project partners as they commence work on Stream’s Implementation Phase. Stream is funded by Ofwat.

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 Oct/Nov meetings:

Steering Group – 8 Nov

  • It was approved that Affinity Water have joined Stream.
  • Members responded to a survey on the priorities for Stream at 3, 6 and 12 months. It was noted the highest priority selected by members were:
    • 3 months – Find flag-ship use case(s) based on data user needs to illustrate the data value chain and business case for data interoperability. 
    • 6 months – Lay foundations for data governance and interoperability align with the national strategy.
    • 12 months – as at 6 months.
  • It was agreed that the domain name for Stream would be chosen and purchased outside of the Steering Group.
  • It was noted that “Open data roadmap – propose Stream act as vehicle for Open data forum, custodian of artefacts created as result of roadmap – decision taken outside of steering group with member companies, in consultation document with Water Uk in december “
  • Updates from the Stream programme delivery of MVP and Day 1 platform and launch were noted.
  • The following potential risks were noted with a request to Steering Group members to help mitigate them:
    • Not gaining signed collaboration agreements with water companies
    • Not maintaining continued engagement between water companies and project partners.
  • An update on Stream’s risk registration process was noted. Stream’s main risks were also discussed and it was agreed that action should be taken in good time to address ongoing risks that could delay the programme.
  • Updates from AG1 & AG2 October/November meetings were noted.

This group will be meeting again in December 2023.

Market & User Needs Advisory Group – 24 Oct

Top 5 use cases as prioritised in the meeting:

  1. EUC8 Effective cross-industry works planning to reduce disruption
  2. EUC33 Identification of areas at risk of distress (due to low water levels and/or poor water quality so that appropriate action can be taken
  3. EUC12 Reduce carbon footprint of wastewater treatment plants
  4. EUC30 Identify areas where water supply may come under pressure, such that targeted preventative and remedial action can be taken
  5. EUC3 Determine how changes in population / climate / infrastructure may propagate into rivers by using influent data to back-calculate sewer catchment characteristics

Key insights:

  • We heard from Sia Partners of the process overview for the definition, prioritisation, and scoring of day 1 use cases 
  • Icebreaker One presented 12 use cases to the group, which has been narrowed down from a long list of 40 use cases. The other use cases are in a use case backlog to be reflected upon after day one live service. 
  • Use cases were narrowed down due to: use case duplication, reliance on shared rather than open data, clarification required on some details, and complexity of datasets required
  • Some use case ideas were mentioned multiple times, including: cleaning up the waterways in most efficient and effective way, prediction asset failure, reduction in water consumption, reduction of wastewater environmental impact, enable wild swimmers and other water users to know where it is safe to use water for leisure, early warning system for potential water quality issues

This group will meet again in January 2024.

Technical Requirements & Operating Model

2 Oct

  • A review of the definition of Open Data and the Data Spectrum was given and its relation to Stream was noted and discussed.  It was noted that while Stream is initially focusing on Open Data in order to do one thing well, there was some interest in exploring whether Shared Data could bring additional value at a later point (See point below).
  • An action was created for IB1 to ask the User Needs Advisory Group to identify a shared data use case for the research team to begin expanding.
  • Progress and planned work from the data standards working group was noted, with three aims: to understand the standards already being used; how Stream can adapt these to be used by water companies in the UK; and working with water companies on adopting them.
  • It was noted that the datasets workstream is in the process of procuring UC12 data (drinking water quality data) from the Stream water companies and has developed a repeatable process for collecting data from the water companies which can be adapted continuing MVP and Day 1
  • An action was created for IB1 (w/ advice from Stream team & AG) to bring in non-water company stakeholders into use case identification and prioritisation, particularly to bring in the voice of experience from the energy sector. 
  • It was noted that the technical workstream has developed a plan to build a simple data storage solution with a web front end to allow customers to download data in the required format. Subsequent aims to collect feedback data and give Stream a distinct identity.
  • It was recommended by AG members that existing open source technology could be used more efficiently than building a solution from scratch for the MVP platform –  particular references were made to CKAN. An action was created for the Stream technical team to discuss if this should be used rather than building a new platform.

7 Nov

  • We heard a cybersecurity update presented by Aiimi and the action will be closed if there are no further questions.
  • We heard updates from Aiimi on the dataset procurement and feasibility process and the review of water company data triage processes.
  • We heard from Michael from SSE, on their open data journey within the energy industry.
  • There was a discussion on Trust Framework and it was agreed that building data standards is the initial first step needed for Stream. It was noted this should build on the standards which already exist within the water companies.

This group will meet again in February 2024.