3A.4 Providing Citizens and Businesses Open Access to Reclamation Water Information

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 11:15 AM
608 (Washington State Convention Center )
Levi D. Brekke, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO; and A. Adams, K. Cavalier, A. Danner, B. Iversen, V. Mccann, J. Nagode, S. Poulton, J. Rocha, and K. Tarbet

The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting a demonstration project to show how we can better share western U.S. reservoir water budget information (e.g., stored volumes, release flows, water levels, reservoir-site hydrometeorology conditions) with other agencies, businesses, and citizens, starting with a diversity of water data management schemes that vary by Reclamation region and data type.  Better sharing of reservoir water budget information would benefit hydrologic forecasting as well as water resources planning and management. 

While Reclamation uses reservoir water budget data to track river flows, reservoir operations, power deliveries (among other management uses) , there is no bureau-wide system to store these data in modern, widely used, machine-readable formats; nor a system to permit centralized public browsing, viewing, and access of those data.  To address this situation, Reclamation has initiated the Reclamation Water Information System (RWIS) pilot project, involving a bureau-wide team of diverse experts representing reservoir water data development, regional database administration, information technology (IT) services, IT security, and Reclamation web services, all collaborating with external partners and stakeholders on implementation.  The pilot system is being developed to serve reservoir water budget data from each of Reclamation’s five regions on a public-facing website with a web services, map interface, and query interface, and supporting system IT infrastructure.  Key parts of implementation include building a common data standard, assembling and preparing hardware and software infrastructure, building a website and web tools, conducting security reviews and compliance, and conducting outreach/communications.  After addressing the reservoir water budget data domain, the RWIS plans to expand the system to share a larger range of Reclamation’s water and water-related data types (e.g., hydropower, environmental stewardship, infrastructure assets). 

This presentation will summarize RWIS system development approach and status.  It will also highlight lessons learned, future directions, and anticipated opportunities for citizen and business users.  This project is one of several Reclamation efforts contributing to the President’s Climate Data Initiative (water theme), Administration’s Open Data Initiative, and the Department of the Interior’s Open Water Data Initiative, which involves taking federal water data sets and making them publicly interoperable or machine readable, permitting better integration with other data sets

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