The systems and technology available to measure and record hydrologic data are continually improving; however, data are not often readily available for public access or readily transferable from research to operations due to non-standardized formats. Significant benefits can be derived by enhancing the accessibility and standardization of hydrologic data. The improvement of hydrologic information accessibility through a system of data servers and exchange protocols is a focus of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI), a group of universities and research institutions which share a common interest in hydrologic science. In a Hydrologic Information System (HIS) project, with support from the National Science Foundation, CUAHSI is developing utilities designed to facilitate the transfer, exchange, and accessibility of data, regardless of its origin. These HIS utilities include the Observations Database Model (ODM), the WaterML exchange protocol, and the HydroServer delivery system. The WaterML exchange protocol is gaining international acceptance and is being adopted by various federal and state agencies to facilitate hydrologic data exchange. Additionally, the NWS is seeking the expansion of the WaterML schema to include forecast time-series information.
The project between UTA and the NWS seeks to establish a common data link for managing and serving the NWS daily precipitation data through a university hosted server which is shared via the CUAHSI HIS. Through a multi-agency, collaborative effort, which includes the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and TRWD, the project is now expanding. Researchers and students across the partner agencies are coordinating to develop procedures for managing and serving additional hydrologic information. A long term project goal is to host a suite of hydrologic data sets of local, regional, and national importance. Ultimately, this increased access to data will enable the hydrologic community to develop new applications, products, and services for stakeholders, which supports the primary focus of the IWRSS initiative.