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Water Data and Science Committee Meeting Summary April 29, 2020 Webinar–Dr. Ashley Ward-Internet of Water Peer to Peer State Network

  1. Call to Order—Tom Littlepage, Alabama Office of Water Resources, called the committee to order in Amy Shallcross’ absence.  
  • Introductions of Participants on the call:  Tom Littlepage, Vice-Chair, Ala. Office of Water; Sue Lowry, Brian Atkins, Adel Abdullah, Peter Colohan, Randy Hadland, Matt Unruh, Eric Robinson, Lauren Salvato, Josh Weiss, Wes Cattoor, Christopher Estes. 
  • Presentation by Dr. Ashley Ward, Senior Policy Associate, Internet of Water (IoW); Ashley’s presentation slides can be accessed here. Presentation can be viewed here.

IoW has recently launched a State Agency Peer-to-Peer network. Ashley began with an example of the community of Mebane, NC and how they integrated their waste water treatment facilities into streamlined data entry and going paperless.  Investment doesn’t always mean the main infrastructure of the plant.  IoW is looking to integrate data from a variety of sources and types– Find, access, use the data from the disparate data sources is IoW’s main mission.  Four state pilots (TX, NM, CA, NC) and Upper Colorado River Basin Commission.  Federal Data Hubs include partnering with WADE and CUAHSI.  The New Mexico Data Act has led to the development of the water hub. (inventory, type of integration platform, web access, data delivery).  Sharing of lessons learned from these types of programs led to developing the Peer to Peer network—all types of discussion welcome from basic to complex. Forum arranged by common areas of questions that can be asked or answered by state members. 

How staff at Interstate basin organizations would be incorporated in the P2P networks was discussed.  Sue suggested that the Interstate Water Management Committee of ICWP could be helpful in developing a “sub-group” of the P2P state network.  The webinars that are being planned as a part P2P are open to all and ICWP affiliate and consulting members are encouraged to register for the P2P network so they are notified of these all inclusive events.

  • Stakeholder letter supporting USGS Streamgaging networks
    • Letter delivered via email to House and Senate Appropriations committees
    • March 2020 letters on ICWP website; 57 organizations signed
  • All-committee webinar on Drought 
    • Tom mentioned the NIDIS Drought dashboard development on-going in the southeastern US states.  He will check with the NIDIS contact (Meredith Muth) about a future webinar for our committee.  The Flash Drought seminar may not be held now until 2021.  ICWP members continue to be interested in expanding the use and effectiveness of the Drought Impacts Monitor.  Sue will check with Mark Svoboda to see if the briefing he was to hold on the National Drought Mitigation Center activities with Congressional appropriations committees was held or postponed due to COVID closures. 
  • Workplan development for the Committee
    • Workplan list review
    • Choose 1-3 topics to develop Statements of Principles
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration 
    • Support for NOAA-NWS Atlas 14—Lauren will get the contact info to Sue on the University of Wisconsin professor who is conducting modeling research related to maximum precipitation events. 
    • Supporting NHD Plus and other mapping efforts—Sue held coordination calls with both the 3DEP/NHD staff at the USGS and the 3DEP coalition ED, JB Byrd.  JB is open to ICWP developing language for next year’s 3DEP support letter expanding the support to also include the NHD products. 
    • Improving Forecasts of Water Availability (Federal Report)
    • Genesis of Section 1505 of AWIA—Peter Colohan had some additional information on this added section in the EPW recently released version of the AWIA.  He thought it began with the stakeholders interested in expanding water supply authorities at USACE reservoirs.  This Committee agreed that just looking at water supply availability at USACE reservoirs only a small part of water data needs.  Peter will let the folks working on this language that if NAS pursues to broaden to more water data needs and to approach water management organizations on their needs prior to initiating the study. . 
  • Next call or webinar—Committee members are encouraged to participate in the WestFAST organized federal agency updates in May.  The next WD&S committee webinar will be scheduled for later in June. 

Water Data and Science Committee:  Mission is to educate ICWP members on current data and science trends and to advocate support for data and science programs at the national level.

2019 Accomplishments:

Issues for 2020 Workplan

  1. Potential ICWP Support of USGS Efforts
    1. USGS NGWOS—including future basin selections
    1. Water-Use Data and Research—Review next USGS compilations
    1. IWAA indices that make sense as indicators (Mindi request at Mobile)
    1. Review of NAS Study on USGS Water Discipline
    1. Multi-Signature support letter for Streamgaging Programs
      1. Early spring letter signed by stakeholders
      1. Letter in the fall signed by states/interstates/tribes
  2. Climate/Weather Extremes/Drought
    1. Flash Droughts
    1. NIDIS/NDRP—Support baseline, firm funding source for US Drought Monitor
    1. Support for a 2nd product similar to USDM specific to ag relief programs
    1. Support for expansion of Drought Impacts Reporter
    1. Baseline for determining Climate Change
    1. Paleo-drought studies
  3. Other items the Committee could explore:
    1. Internet of Water
    1. Data Portals/Data Exchange
    1. Support for NRCS Snow Survey Program
  4. National Water Model Priorities
    1. Especially understanding the underlying models and how those could be used by others
    1. Support for NHDPlusHR and its modeling capabilities
  5. Tracking of Emerging Tools or Trends in Water Data/Science
    1. Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations
    1. Seasonal to Sub-Seasonal Forecasting
    1. NASA Western Water Office—Adel will keep the committee apprised of any activities of interest beyond the western states.