Data play an important role in water-related research. Based on experiences in data collection and data processing in water-related research this paper proposes – both from a computer scientist's and an environmental engineer's point of view – a set of rules for data handling: Rule 1: Protect raw data; Rule 2: Save metadata; Rule 3: Use databases; Rule 4: Separate data from processing; Rule 5: Use programming; Rule 6: Avoid redundancy; Rule 7: Be transparent; Rule 8: Use standards and naming conventions. Applying these rules (i) increases the quality of data and results, (ii) allows to prepare data for long-term usage and make data accessible to different people, (iii) makes data processing transparent and results reproducible, and (iv) saves – at least in the long run – time and effort. With this contribution the authors would like to start a discussion about best data handling practices and present a first checklist of data handling and data processing for practitioners and researchers working in the water sector.

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