Annals of Data Science

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 251–264 | Cite as

An Informatics Approach for Smart Evaluation of Water Quality Related Ecosystem Services

  • Weigang Yan
  • Mike Hutchins
  • Steven Loiselle
  • Charlotte Hall


Understanding the relationship between water quality and ecosystem services valuation requires a broad range of approaches and methods from the domains of environmental science, ecology, physics and mathematics. The fundamental challenge is to decode the association between ‘ecosystem services geography’ with water quality distribution in time and in space. This demands the acquisition and integration of vast amounts of data from various domains in many formats and types. Here we present our system development concept to support the research in this field. We outline a technological approach that harnesses the power of data with scientific analytics and technology advancement in the evolution of a data ecosystem to evaluate water quality. The framework integrates the mobile applications and web technology into citizen science, environmental simulation and visualization. We describe a schematic design that links water quality monitoring and technical advances via data collection by citizen scientists and professionals to support ecosystem services evaluation. These data were synthesized into big data analytics through a Bayesian belief network to assess ecosystem services related to water quality. Finally, the paper identifies technical barriers and opportunities, in respect of big data ecosystem, for valuating water quality in ecosystem services assessment.


Water quality Data ecosystem Citizen science Big data Informatics Bayesian belief networks 



We thank technical support of Mr. Biren Rathod and Neil Bailey in developing web platforms. We thank the UK National River Flow Archive for providing river flow data and UK Environment Agency for providing the WIMS data for the analysis. This work is under the support of NERC National Capability Fund and Earthwatch Institute’s Collaborative Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NERC Centre for Ecology & HydrologyWallingfordUK
  2. 2.Earthwatch InstituteOxfordUK

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