The accuracy of hydrographic data has important consequences in the use to which the data is being put. Data accuracy and reliability is directly related to the performance of individual gauging stations, however, an objective measure of performance has long eluded hydrographic practitioners.
The Perth South Region of the Water Authority of Western Australia has developed and is trialling a set of statistical indicators to assess the performance of its streamflow gauging stations. These indicators are relatively easy to apply and have provided assessment and ranking which is compatible with more subjective assessments by station operators. The indicators are based on analysis of conventional factors related to rating curves and recording equipment. To date the approach has proved valuable in demonstrating to stakeholders the need and type of action required at particular gauging stations to improve data accuracy and reliability.