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Environmental sciences, Water resources, Hydrology
Decreased funding and shifting governmental priorities have resulted in a contraction of hydrometric measurement in many regions over the past two decades. Moreover, concerns exist with respect to appropriate data usage and (transboundary) exchange, in addition to the compatibility and extent of existing hydrometric datasets. These issues are undoubtedly magnified due to enhanced data demands and increased financial pressures on network managers, thus requiring new approaches to optimising the societal benefits and overall efficacy of hydrometric information for future socio-hydrological resilience. The current study employed a quantitative cross-sectional expert elicitation of 203 respondents to collate, analyse and assess hydrometric network users’ opinions, knowledge and experience. Current usage patterns, perceived network strengths, requirements, and limitations have been identified and discussed within the context of hydrometric resilience in a changing social, economic and natural environment. Findings indicate that small (<30 km2) catchment data are most frequently employed in the Republic of Ireland, particularly with respect to extreme event prediction and flood management. Similarly, small catchments and areas characterised by previous/recent flooding were prioritised for resilience management via network amendment. Over half of those surveyed (50.5%) reported the current network as inadequate for their professional requirements. Conversely, respondents indicated network efficacy has improved (53.2%) or remained stable (26.6%) over the course of their professional career, however, improvements (as defined by individual respondents i.e. network density, data quality, data availability) have not occurred at a sufficient rate. User-defined efficacy (adequacy, resilience) was found to be a somewhat vague, multivariate concept, with no individual predictor identified, however, general data quality, network density, and urban catchment data were the most significant issues among respondents. A significant majority (85.4%) of respondents indicate that future resilience would be best achieved via network density amendment, with over 60% favouring geographically and/or categorically focused network increases, as opposed to more general national increases.
P.D. Hynds, A.E. Nasr, J. O'Dwyer, Evaluation of hydrometric network efficacy and user requirements in the Republic of Ireland via expert opinion and statistical analysis, Journal of Hydrology, Volume 574, 2019, Pages 851-861, ISSN 0022-1694, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.04.086.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)