Develop, Test and Implement Enhancements to the Hydrologic Database (HDB) to Enable its Use as a Database of Record for Several Reclamation Offices

Project ID: 681
Principal Investigator: Don Frevert
Research Topic: Water Resource Data Analysis
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

The HDB relational database management system needs to be extended and enhanced utilizing state-of-the-art technology to become a more effective decision support tool for Reclamation's hydrologic data. These enhancements will facilitate Reclamation's ability to:

* Rely on and interpret their data in order to make sound operational decisions

* Provide an indisputable record of data used to make past decisions

* Provide a complete record of best available historical and forecast data for research purposes and policy development.

The evolution of HDB to the database of record will make a significant improvement in the effective management of water and power in the Western United States.

Need and Benefit

Effective management of water resources requires complete and accurate data for making operational decisions, improving operational policies and documenting data that informed past decisions. Currently, several regions and area offices (Upper Colorado [UC] Region, Lower Colorado [LC] and Yakima Area Office) use the HDB as a central distributed database, a major step towards achieving data management needs. However, the data in HDB are not complete, consistent, nor documented with respect to source; quality control is minimal; and there is a lack of much-needed time-aggregated summary data.

Reclamation managers are often interrogated formally or informally regarding the basis for operational decisions--decisions that are usually based on data such as forecasts, flows, available water supply, and downstream demands. Reasonable explanation of decisions requires maintaining the exact data considered in the decision and being able to reproduce the overall state of the system and retrieve forecast information available at the time the decision was made. Enhanced capability to document the basis for past decisions is urgently needed to assist Reclamation's defense in litigation and other processes.

The research and development of new data management technologies outlined in this proposal and termed Database of Record will greatly improve Reclamation's ability to deal with these issues. The newest version of HDB, called HDB2, is the result of Science and Technology (S&T) funding to the fiscal year (FY) 2003 WaRSMP Research and Development (R&D) program. It is ready for deployment in the aforementioned offices as well as in the Albuquerque Area Office. HDB2's new feature, the Derivation Application, facilitates the creation of a complete and consistent record of observed data and time-aggregated summary data for use in decision-making, analysis and research. Its data loaders accurately and efficiently move data automatically from a variety of disparate sources into the relational structure of HDB. Also, the new database structure more rigorously defines the meaning of the data, as well as its source, method of creation and overall characteristics. Remaining enhancements to HDB for it to function as Reclamation's Database of Record include:

* Calculation capability will automatically create new information from existing data by applying user-defined methods or procedures to one or more data types.

* Data archiving and retrieval capability will track and archive changes to the data record as they happen, ensuring that data used in making historical decisions are always available for analysis and legal justification purposes.

* A data validation capability will automatically perform fast and efficient quality control and quality assurance checks and will directly improve the data store used to achieve Reclamation's mission.

* Improved georeferenced capabilities will store GIS and other identified Reclamation geospatial data.

The HDB/Database of Record will serve not only as a data repository, but as a comprehensive system through which program managers can better understand their river systems and can make more informed, comprehensive, and timely decisions. The continued development, demonstration, and deployment of new capabilities in HDB are essential to achieving Reclamation's mission of providing safe, affordable, and ample water and power to stakeholders in the Western United States.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17