With the development and implementation of River Information Services (RIS) arose the need for RIS Definitions. Much of the work was done by the EU RIS Expert Groups, but in projects from the past such as INDRIS, COMPRIS, MARNIS and IRIS-I definitions were also developed. There were also definitions from international organisations such as IMO, ITU, IALA, UN/ECE, CCNR and others relevant to RIS.
At the start of PIANC Working Group 125, based on the various wishes of many stakeholders, the need was expressed to bring together all relevant definitions in one document. To that end many sources and experts were consulted and soon it appeared that there were several variations of definitions in circulation. This can easily lead to confusion even when the differences were slight.
By the fact that the definitions were collected and sorted in a systematically way, it was possible to have an overview of definitions for the same notation. Having this overview allowed proposals to be worked out to select the most appropriate definition.
Redundant definitions were not deleted, but placed separately. It is expected that in the years to come, in the field of RIS (definitions) some developments can be expected. There may be the possibility that it turns out that a definition currently redundant fits better at that end.
The definitions brought together in this document cover the whole field of RIS and related systems, like VTMS, VTS and E-Navigation. This also means that the RIS definitions are not limited to river systems worldwide, but that there is a relationship with the maritime area. This signifies that the definitions are not directly linked to any of the (traffic) regulations being used on the various (inland) water systems.
The definitions will be of importance in the planning, implementation/realisation, management and maintenance of RIS systems, but they also give a clear picture of the roles, responsibilities and the various parties, players and stakeholders involved.
In particular the RIS Expert Groups will be asked that if they are at any moment engaged in an update of a RIS standard to use the definitions gathered in this database. This then contributes to the consistency in the use of RIS.
PIANC and the CCNR have agreed that the CCNR will include in its website the publication and maintenance of the PIANC RIS definitions. The CCNR website will provide a link to the EU RIS portal and to the PIANC website, where the Guidelines and Recommendations for River Information Services can be found.
Through this website concrete suggestions can be provided for amending existing definitions or adding new definitions.