Improving access to water trade allocation information through data visualisation
The water division of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) manages the Victorian Water Register. The register informs the water-trading community about entitlements, ownership, prices and volumes traded.
Until recently, data related to trade limits and allocations were only available by downloading an Excel sheet from DELWP’s website, then creating data sets manually. To empower and educate the water-trading community and create greater transparency around trading allocations, DELWP approached us to develop a streamlined virtual representation of real-time trading data. The unique and technical nature of the project posed several challenges. However, in collaborating with key stakeholders from DELWP's water division, we co-designed an innovative Water Allocation Trading App that achieves all DELWP's objectives and a 100% user satisfaction rating.
Understanding the complex water-trading system, logistics, mathematics, policies and governance was a significant challenge. Because it was one of the first projects of its kind, there were few examples to draw on for inspiration.
The project also required the visualisation of complex data, third-party data sets and a custom API.
To overcome these challenges, working closely with DELWP’s water team was critical. We ran a series of collaborative workshops with stakeholders from policy and governance and programming and engineering, to work through user interactions, journeys and other features. Then, we co-designed a solution informed by key inputs, outcomes, user needs and tasks.
To ensure users would find the solution robust and straightforward, we tested a prototype on key groups, including farmers, agribusiness, investors, water brokers and utility providers. Other than a few label issues, which we rectified, all tasks were completed successfully.
From there, we developed a custom app that integrates with a third-party data source. With the simple click of a button, users can see Victoria’s real-time water-trading data on a helpful map and graph.
This innovative app saves the water community significant time in accessing trading information while improving their user experience. As a result, it achieved a net promoter score of 100% during testing, meaning all users would recommend it to others.
DELWP’s industry peers and other government departments and agencies have applauded the application.