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Water Data and Science Committee Meeting Summary June 26, 2019 Webinar–Jim Kreft-USGS

Meeting Summary

Water Data & Science Committee

June 26, 2019

1 p.m. Mtn, 2 p.m. Central; 3 p.m. Eastern Time

  1. Call to Order—Chair Amy Shallcross DRBC  Webinar began at 2:15 p.m. Central time using Xylem’s webinar log-in. 
  • Introductions of Participants on the call–Amy Shallcross, Chair, DRBC; Sue Lowry, ICWP Executive Director; Peter Gill, Wyoming Water Development Office; Tom Littlepage, Alabama OWR; Randy Hadland, YSI/Xylem; Josh Weiss, Hazen-Sawyer; Becca Emery, Kisters; Molly Maupin, USGS; Christel Valentine, Hach/Hydromet.
  • Webinar presentation on Modernization of NWISWeb:
    • Jim Kreft, USGS, Web Communications Branch, Water Mission Area

Similar presentation can be found at this link:


 Some of the highlights of his talk and need for modernization included:

  • Overall goal for USGS is the efficient retrieval and analysis of water data by USGS staff as well as the larger public
  • Make improvements for occasional users to be able to find and use the more obscure analytics that are available, but only the power users know about
  • Of data requests, twice as much data are pulled by data services rather than via website searches
  • Use of tabular data can be cumbersome and the modernization will make more user friendly
  • NWISWeb has seen little change since 1995
  • The classic code in which NWIS was developed is not Cloud ready and most of the original programmers are retiring
  • Data from Super gages contain more parameters than NWIS was originally designed to handle
  • Needs for the future, such as model driven streamflow and NextGen attributes like web cameras at each gage and displaying uncertainty levels
  • Likely that the classic style will not be replaced for at least 3 years

The committee discussed sending an ICWP support letter for the resources needed to make these modernization changes to Don Cline and other USGS leadership. Sue and Amy will work on the letter. 

  • ICWP will be seeking issues prioritization from full membership in early July—This committee will discuss on the July 25 call. Sue felt that the timing for sending out the survey could be pushed back to late July or early August and that the Legislation and Policy Committee would welcome the additional input.  
  • Announcements/Upcoming Events
    • NIDIS/NDRP 2ndNational Drought Forum—July 30-31 In Washington DC
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration 
    • FCC letter related to GOES satellite bandwidth was submitted on June 18, 2019
    • Streamflow Information Collaborative—Ideas for Invigorating—Sue plans to send the announcement for Julie Kiang’s talk on July 9 out to the full ICWP mailing list.  Asking some of the other water organizations to post notice of the SIC webinars was also mentioned. 
  • Recap of any action items—The Committee will draft a letter to Don Cline, copying Chad Wagner, explaining ICWP’s support of NWISWeb modernization. 
  • Next call or webinar—Next call will be held on July 25 at 2 p.m. Central time to review the priorities list and develop the workplan for the committee (no webinar will be scheduled).  The planned survey by ICWP to its members and prospects will also be on the agenda. A webinar with Chad Wagner updating on NGWOS activities will be set for later in the fall.