Open Water Quality Data Initiative

Project ID: 1415
Principal Investigator: Merlynn Bender
Research Topic: Water Quality
Funded Fiscal Years: 2016
Keywords: None

Research Question

How can the existing water quality data and future water quality data be integrated into the US Department of
Interior Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI)? This Open Water QUALITY Data Initiative (OWQDI) scoping proposal
will scope options for development of a consistent water quality database in terms of access, sensitivity,
metadata, TSC and Reclamation Regional office repository, and format. Water quality for surface water and
groundwater exist in many databases. Integration of that information is challenging. One of the goals would be to
reduce the many environmental parameters to a reduced set with higher certainty.

Need and Benefit

After the Environmental Protection System (EPA) STORET database was phased out for smaller agency databases,
there is a great need to provide a consistent database format. Currently water quality databases are project
specific, spreadsheet-based, and are often lost due to retirements and agency turnover.
The benefit of a consistent water quality database is that it allows better data management, comparison between
agencies, and greater access by agencies as well as the public.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Open Water Quality Data Initiative (final, PDF, 1.6MB)
By Merlynn Bender
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

Ways to process and save water quality data were reviewed. Initially, add-on packages to database software are the recommended procedure to accommodate immediate needs; a structured non-proprietary opensource software virtualization platform format is recommended for future needs. Add-ons developed for a particular piece of software should be modular and flexible to accommodate software changes over decades. Specialized add-ons for enhanced automation might be developed for a future opensource software package or future virtualization techniques such as software defined anything (SDx). Development of a coordinated open water quality data initiative (OWQDI) program and a demonstration project are recommended. Hierarchical Data Format version 5 (HDF5) format might be used for such a demonstration project.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20