Our ability to share and understand water information from various sources is currently limited by the use of incompatible information management and publication technologies. Water management bodies, hydropower companies, meteorologists and other interested stakeholders all monitor water resources and store their data using a wide array of technologies.

Standards are multi-party agreements that provide a common ground on which people can share information by minimising ambiguity and sharing definitions for domain concepts. They are most effective when surrounded by an active community who, along with taking part in defining such concepts, develop supporting tools that allow for easy transmission and interpretation of data sets.