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Integrated Information Management System, Development of Web Interface

Project ID: 3625
Principal Investigator: Eric Peterson
Research Topic: Water Resource Data Analysis
Funded Fiscal Years: 2010 and 2011
Keywords: None

Research Question

Starting in 2006, the Science and Technology (S&T) Program provided a 3-year, $450,000 grant to develop IIMS (Proposal No. 165 IIMS--an Information and Data Management System for Science Based River Management, 2009). Combined with over $500,000 in cash funds from partners, this produced a system for data maintenance and access that has improved river management. However, limitations have recently been identified that we intend to overcome.

Current IIMS highlights:

* Centralized Oracle database
+ Modular data structure for multiple data types
+ Automated import of select data types

* Desktop application with access to centralized database
+ Data query and extraction for external analysis
+ Time series analyst (TSA) to graphically view data
+ Document library
+ Preliminary data management tools including upload capabilities

* ArcGIS extension for spatial query of data

* Realty module for land access agreements

* Web portal with simplified versions of:
+ Document Library
+ A geospatial viewer

We regard the development of IIMS thus far as highly successful and invite you to explore the Web portal at

However, several limitations have recently been identified; most problematic are:

* Maintaining links between desktop software and centralized databases is IT-intensive

* Deployment to additional area offices requires customized SMS packaging

These limits endanger the utility of IIMS for river management by making it difficult to deploy!

Proposed solution:

Implementing full IIMS capabilities through the Web will solve the limitations identified AND will improve data stewardship (data management and documentation) by:

* Simplifying interface-database connections by restructuring to a single dedicated link

* Eliminating need for desktop installs

* Equilibrating data access for river restoration partnerships

* Leveraging Web access for

Need and Benefit

Management of Reclamation dams, rivers, and water resources increasingly requires rigorous scientific analysis of physical and biological responses to management actions. For example, science-based monitoring and analysis frameworks are being developed in the Klamath, Platte, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Trinity River basins to evaluate ecosystem responses and inform management of these rivers. A science-based approach to river system management necessitates the collection, dissemination, analysis, and reporting of large volumes of physical and biological measurements. In the absence of an integrated information management solution, Reclamation scientists, managers, and policy makers are left to gather together what information they can from various sources within Reclamation itself, other agencies, organizations, independent scientists, etc. Much of this information has been stored on individual computers or databases that are isolated, remote, and poorly coordinated, leading to poor data provenance, inadequate quality control, data duplication, and territorialism.

The challenges of river restoration partnerships that Reclamation has embarked upon exponentiate the difficulties of disparate data sources. When management decisions must be coordinated among Federal, State, and tribal offices with variable access to data to support decisions, Reclamation might find itself at risk of acting on poorly conceived decisions. Even good decisions can be difficult to justify when data are from disparate sources, leaving the documentation of decisions difficult and inefficient to complete, and rendering decisions vulnerable to question under the Data Quality Act.

In the case of Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), roughly $4 million in Reclamation funding is invested annually on data collection performed by Reclamation's partners and contractors. For many years, these data have been difficult to organize and analyze comprehensively to aid in river management decisions. From the initial development of IIMS, TRRP and Reclamation now have the foundation for integrated data management that brings multiple datasets together within a common framework. This foundation provides data support to local river systems--yet may be applied to multiple river systems. The database framework enables comparing and contrasting relationships among multiple datasets such as water quality and geomorphology.

Unfortunately, initial attempts at deployment of IIMS within Reclamation beyond TRRP have proven problematic. Challenges are centered around the use of a desktop application as the primary interface. Not only is this difficult to deploy within Reclamation, but it requires infrastructure not available to partners in restoration programs such as the TRRP. With partners only able to access the Web portal, enhancements of IIMS must be dually implemented on desktop and Web interfaces.

We now seek to build upon the foundation of IIMS initial development by fully implementing the Web interface in place of the desktop application. This interface will:

* Provide easy access for decisionmakers, as needed, through common Web browsers

* Integrate multiple datasets to enable wise management decisions

* Facilitate comprehension of ecologically and geospatially complex systems

* Equilibrate access to data among restoration partnerships

* Standardize data imports

* Better connect data to protocol documentation, metadata, and analytical reports

* Simplify future enhancements by reducing development to a single interface

In short, a Web-based interface will provide data integration, viewing, and sharing tools needed by Reclamation for wise water management in today's collaborative environment.

Contributing Partners

Pacific Northwest Regional Office, Pacific Northwest Region

Research Products

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about these documents.

This information was last updated on April 18, 2014
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