Each year Service Providers (SPs) must collate and supply significant volumes of data on water and sewerage services to numerous State and Commonwealth agencies. The Statewide Water Information Management (SWIM) project was created in 2006 to simplify reporting of up to 900+ indicators reported by some Queensland SPs. Today, thanks to the SWIM system, swimlocal and data translation tools require the reporting of only around 200 indicators in total which are then passed on to State and Commonwealth agencies in specified formats.
SWIM has been developed in stages. The SWIMonline pilot with small and medium councils for the 2007-8 reporting year received a strong response and in the 2008-9 year more than 80% of providers used SWIM to accomplish their water and sewerage reporting requirements. Today, generally all Service Providers report using SWIM and the quality assurance of data is greater than ever before in Queensland.
The success of SWIM is critical to consistent and transparent reporting for the Queensland water industry which is being assessed by its ability to provide data in an accurate and timely manner. SWIM has evolved from a reporting process to a tool with a clear focus on business planning, giving SPs comparative and benchmarking data as well as responding to ongoing and ad hoc data requests from a variety of organisations (such as Government agencies, researchers and consultants).
The data collection period runs per financial year from 1 July to 30 June. Other deadlines include BoM data on 31 August each year and NPR, ABS and Queensland Government data on 1 October.
Data can still be submitted if you missed the deadline and errors can be corrected at any time – please contact email@example.com if you need assistance.
Water and sewerage data was originally uploaded to SWIM via webforms and Excel spreadsheets accessed via the internet (SWIM member’s Portal). However, now all data is imported via either database software called swimlocal which is installed directly on SPs computers and/or the Annual Data Web Portal. All qldwater members have access to a free (limited) version of the swimlocal software (to enter their regulatory required annual water and sewerage data and some metadata) and the swimlocal Admin Tool for managing additional metadata.
All members are encouraged to direct any other data requests that could more appropriately be managed via SWIM to qldwater for assessment within the SWIM framework. For example, in 2010 a request from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to all SPs in Queensland sought paper-based reporting on over 100 indicators, many of which were already stored in SWIM. With the permission of Queensland SPs, qldwater negotiated with ABS and reduced the 24-page report into five indicators on top of data already collected, realigned the due date with other SWIM requirements, and then sent the data automatically to ABS through SWIM. This mandatory reporting requirement was intercepted only after members forwarded the data request to qldwater.