Water Network

The OS National Geographic Database (NGD) Water Network Collection provides a three-dimensional structured link and node network of watercourses for Great Britain. Rivers, streams, lakes, lochs, drains and canals are represented as a series of network lines. There are three feature types in the collection: Water Link, Water Node, and Water Link Set.

Collection applications

The OS NGD Water Network Collection allows you to:

  • Keep your water network data up to date and accurate with quarterly updates.

  • Have a comprehensive and highly detailed digital representation of the watercourse network in Great Britain.

  • Significantly enhance the systems used to manage waterways and rivers.

  • Use the rich attribution to assign the likelihood of water movement and monitor any upstream pollution.

  • Predict and model flooding and establish appropriate flood protection and response measures.

  • Perform analytics and visual interpretation, particularly when used in combination with data from other OS NGD collections, for example, the OS NGD Building Features Collection.

  • Manage statutory directives relating to watercourses.

  • Conduct ecology studies, for example, species migration.

  • Filter, select and refine data using the new Description attribute that's assigned to all features.

Key elements

  • Quarterly updates to data.

  • Plug and play – the data is simple and quick to implement as you don't need to pre-process it before you use it.

  • Rich attribution ensures the data is straightforward to navigate and query.

  • Persistent unique identifiers with lifecycle information.

  • New feature type of Water Link Set included which provides single geometry for a complete named watercourse.

  • Cross reference table provided so you can easily link data between the Water Link and Water Link Set Feature Types.

  • The names of watercourses (where present) are given at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, including language alternatives.

  • New Description attribute present across all features, for example, drain.


Great Britain.

Default coordinate reference systems

British National Grid + ODN Height (EPSG: 7405) for the Water Link and Water Node Feature Types; British National Grid (EPSG: 27700) for the Water Link Set Feature Type.

Temporal filtering

The earliest date on which you can request a one-off snapshot of a date in the past for data in this collection is noted at the top of the individual feature type pages.

Supply formats

GeoPackage, CSV (comma-separated values), GeoJSON or vector tiles.

Supply mechanism

Accessed through the OSβ€―Data Hub via:

  • OS Select+Build

  • OS NGD API – Features

  • OS NGD API – Tiles

Using our data

  • Included in the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) – therefore, it's free at point of use for Public Sector organisations.

  • Available to OS Partners for commercial resell in your solutions.

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