U.S. Government Builds a Home for Water Data

Outlet: Circle of Blue

October 31, 2014

The collection of water data is rather like a sedate zoo. The data sets, however elegant & illuminating, are penned in agency cages. Info on stream flow is cornered in the USGS’s section of the park, while state groundwater & soil moisture networks are corralled in separate barns. A solution is slowly being developed. This summer a working group comprised of federal agencies involved in science & water management recommended the creation of what is called the Open Water Data Initiative. The project’s goal is to develop a big data tent, an internet-based ecosystem to hold a comprehensive set of water info that will allow for faster research, more accurate forecasts & better understanding of land, water & climate interactions in an era of hydrological change.