New public data structure for geological-, groundwater- and drinking water data in Denmark

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Hansen, Martin
Holding Date 07 October 2008

On January 1, 2007 the 14 Danish counties were closed down and the number of municipalities was reduced from 276 to 98. The responsibilities of the counties were transferred to the municipalities and to 5 new regions and 7 new environmental centres. This new public administrative structure greatly complicated the flow of data in the field of geology, groundwater and drinking water. Prior to January 2007 the geological data were handled at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland while groundwater and drinking water data were handled in the counties. After January 2007 the picture became much more complex. The municipalities were given the responsibility for groundwater and drinking water. The environmental centres were given the responsibility for groundwater monitoring and mapping. The regions were given the responsibility for soil pollution. The Survey is still responsible for geology data. In addition, the Ministry of the Environment needed to know the amount of water permits to calculate a groundwater fee.
To make all geological, groundwater and drinking water data available for all levels in the public administration, it was decided to establish a public data model, create a public database and transfer all data from the counties databases to this central database. It was decided to place this public database at the Survey to make all data freely available. Furthermore, a steering committee with representatives from all levels of the public administration was established. The committee is responsible for the development of the data model and the interface to data.
The result was:
1. A public data model covering geology, groundwater and drinking water including permits and restrictions on groundwater use and drinking water distribution
2. A public interface to data using web services giving free and public access to data and allowing users at all public administration levels to edit data within their own administrative area
3. A single user administration system that allows local administration to assign privileges within the area of the administrative unit using a set of nationally defined roles
4. A change in the legislation to insure that new data were reported directly from laboratories to the database and to assure local update of the data 5. A data agreement that, in detail, distributes the responsibility for different types of data to different administrative units
The presentation focuses on how data are made available, how privileges are handled and the problems that arose during establishment and the initial use of the public database.