Aquadata: Shoalhaven City Council & ALS

ALS & EarthScience Information Systems (EScIS) have collaborated with Shoalhaven City Council to develop Aquadata, an online platform for the management and public sharing of water quality data.


ALS has long provided high quality analytical services to Shoalhaven City Council to meet the ongoing monitoring requirements of waterways and water infrastructure within the council boundaries. A wide range of stakeholders have an interest in the local water quality, including residents accessing drinking water, recreational fishers and oyster farmers. Rapid assessment of water quality is critical in maintaining a healthy environment and responding to events that may affect that health is paramount.

ALS has worked closely with Shoalhaven City Council and EScIS to develop a system to increase productivity in the interpretation and response to analytical results.


Aquadata is a purpose built web-portal that streamlines community access to water quality analysis conducted by ALS on behalf of Shoalhaven City Council (SCC).

Aquadata is accessed via a link on the SCC web site directing users to the Aqua Data home page.

The Aquadata home page features a map interface with water sampling locations clearly displayed on a familiar Google Maps background.

Clicking on a water sampling location within the map generates tables and graphs of ALS water quality analytical data for that location. The tables and graphs can then be downloaded and printed.

Aquadata provides a free, easy-to-use portal for the community to access up-to-date ALS water quality data. ALS have worked hard to successfully meet the critical technical requirements of the project to ensure a smooth transition for SCC as the new system is adopted.

“ALS realizes the importance of providing accurate and timely data, particularly when related to public health. The ALS IT team have modified system outputs to support the requirements of SCC and ESCIS. This exciting initiative demonstrates ALS’ capability and commitment to streamlining the data management processes and looks forward to working with ESCIS on further projects.”

Philip Kennedy, ALS Projects Coordinator

Aquadata increases visibility and accessibility of important community information. Pressure on SCC resources previously dedicated to responding to community water quality information requests is also reduced.

“Aquadata has been designed to improve the sharing of water quality monitoring results with the community and to assist consideration of water quality data within the catchment planning and catchment management decision making process.”

Greg Howarth, the SCC Project Manager, explains how Aqua Data will benefit the community.

The benefits of the new system extend beyond the public portal. Behind the scenes the system completely upgrades the way SCC manage ALS water quality data. ESdat Online is the framework to allow SCC staff to import, review and approve ALS analytical results for technical interpretation and reporting. SCC also use ESdat Online to centralize management of ALS analytical data associated with the day-to-day operations of important SCC infrastructure, such as water treatment facilities. ESdat Online uses a web-browser interface, allowing SCC staff to rapidly compile and compare historical ALS results with new ALS results as soon as they are received. SCC now have greatly enhanced ability to assess water quality, identify any potential hazards and trigger a suitable response.

“ESdat Online will save Council time and resources that we can now spend serving our customers. The ability of the ESdat Online system to automatically email staff informing them that a reading is outside the expected range will be a great asset in assisting rapid responses to time critical issues.

Greg Howarth, SCC Project Manager

ALS, SCC and EScIS are excited by the positive changes in community engagement and SCC operations the system will deliver and are currently working together to map future expansion and development of the system.

“Shoalhaven City Council (SCC) are now keen to work with other water quality custodians to expand the use Aqua Data, so that the benefits of having a cost effective, one-stop, easily maintained and accessible water quality information service is shared and utilized by a growing audience”

Greg Howarth, SCC Project Manage