WaterSENSE acknowledges that the issue of water availability and its use is sensitive and a politically contested resource around the world. The WaterSENSE project includes research involving human participants by conducting extensive interviews in Australia (and the EU) for the market/stakeholder and user needs analysis. This will include stakeholders representing high level water managers down to individual water users such as irrigators.
We take your privacy seriously; if personal data is stored in our cloud-based services we ensure that appropriate organisational and technical measures are taken in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act 1988, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the South African Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). We ensure that the information provided by you is confidential and that you will not be disadvantaged in any way if you choose not to take part. If you decide to take part, for which we are grateful, but change your mind you can withdraw participation at any time by informing the interviewer or project coordinator. Our contact details can be found on the contact page. If you have already provided information you can withdraw it up to 2 weeks after providing it at which point we will destroy all records and information obtained from you. We will not publish the information during that period.
For the recruitment of participants WaterSENSE will respect the European and National regulations with respect to privacy, security and ethics. The core values are:
- The information provided by the participant will be used for the WaterSENSE research only;
- The project will not access or seek to obtain private data but only gather information that is required for WaterSENSE;
- The participant will be informed to our best ability concerning his participation in a transparent manner by providing an information sheet, room for questions and a contact point for questions;
- The participant will be provided the opportunity to withdraw from the study, which means any information they have already provided will be destroyed;
- Any personal information gathered is anonymized and/or aggregated with results of other participants unless consent has been given for use otherwise;
- Any personal information gathered that is not anonymised (e.g. in interview notes) will be destroyed as soon as possible or at the end of the project latest;
- The information gathered that is not anonymised will be stored on a password protected hard drive at the Water Technology office for Australian Stakeholders. For other countries this data will be stored on a password protected hard drive at the eLEAF office;
- Only anonymised and/or non-personal data is shared in the cloud by and between the consortium, unless consent has been given for use otherwise;
- All data that is anonymised or not personal may be stored securely by consortium partners for use in WaterSENSE derived research and service after the project closure.
Personal data will be processed during data collection activities (e.g. interviews) for the market/stakeholder, user needs analysis and to obtain feedback related to the conducted research. Critical elements will be analysed in order to assess the viability of project services which include economic factors, political and legal aspects. Personal data protection measures are further outlined in the data management plan.
Australia operates under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), as amended, and the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches), 2017. The objective of these is to protect the right of the individual to privacy of their information. Europe operates under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. The GDPR aims primarily to give protection to citizens over their personal data. The legislation was adopted on 27 April 2016.
WaterSENSE will comply with these legislations and are committed to protect the right of the individual to privacy of their information. To ensure that no National Regulations in Australia are violated, WaterSENSE consortium partners in Australia have ethics policies in place that comply with relevant Australian legislation. Australian Partners will also ensure further compliance with the EU legislation where the EU legislation is more prescriptive.
Documents for participants
The information sheet describes the purpose of the WaterSENSE project, benefits and risks for the research participant, data policy, results of the project and contact information
The consent form which is to be filled in by human participants with the WaterSENSE in order to obtain written consent for their participation in the research
Protection of personal data
The consent forms for Australian research participants will be stored and maintained by the Water Technology who is responsible for the user needs analysis. The consent forms for South-Africa and the Netherlands will be stored and maintained by the eLEAF. This is because of the impracticality of the distances between the regions. The forms will be kept in a locked cabinet (hardcopy forms) or a password protected computer (softcopy) and will be destroyed upon project closure latest.
The research participant can withdraw participation at any time. Concerning the information already provided, the participant is offered the option to withdraw up to 2 weeks after providing it. During this cooldown period the research participant can change his mind. During this period none of the information provided may be published. Upon timely withdrawal the information will be destroyed and not used in the research. After the cooldown period the information can be published by the consortium. This condition is clearly described in the information sheet and must be acknowledged in the consent form.