Expanding to New Data Domains in the Reclamation Information Sharing Environment (RISE)

Project ID: 7127
Principal Investigator: Allison Danner
Research Topic: Water Resource Data Analysis
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017 and 2018
Keywords: None

Research Question

The Reclamation Information Sharing Environment (RISE) expansion project will focus on expanding the Reclamation Water Information System (RWIS) pilot portal to other data domains, including hydropower, infrastructure/assets, and environmental data. The RISE Expansion Project will be performed in conjunction with the RWIS Enhancement Project (S'&'T Project 1627) , which focuses on enhancing the pilot version of the RWIS portal including adding data portal features, improving portal functionality and performance, and adding new water data types, parameters, and sites.

The RISE Expansion Project addresses this underlying research question: Given the successful pilot of a publicly available system for centrally sharing a limited subset of Reclamation water-related data and the concurrent work to enhance the portal, can we expand the scope of data domains to infrastructure, hydropower, and environmental data?

Through the work to answer this underlying research question, the team will examine questions such as:

-Which infrastructure/hydropower/environmental-related data types and parameters are desired by internal and external stakeholders?
-What features and functionality of the data portal do stakeholders require and desire for interacting with Reclamation's data?
-What type of data standardization is needed to enable centralization of domain-specific data?

Need and Benefit

Data is central to the Bureau of Reclamation's core mission responsibilities of delivering water and power in an economically and environmentally sound manner. Reclamation relies on many datasets to track river flows, reservoir operations, and power deliveries, which drive Reclamation's real-time operations and future planning. State, regional, and local partners use Reclamation's data to support operations, planning, and forecasting efforts, and the educational community and general public have broad and varied interests in Reclamation's data. While Reclamation shares some of its data via public websites, data users must be familiar with Reclamation's organizational structure to find available datasets, and many other datasets are not readily available or discoverable.

The RWIS pilot was a first step toward a sustainable open data platform within Reclamation, but many needs remain. Data other than water data, including infrastructure/assets data, hydropower data, and environmental data would also be highly valuable to many Reclamation and non-Reclamation users if they were available through an open data portal.

Reclamation's mission is "to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public." This project will contribute to Reclamation's mission by further developing the RWIS pilot into a full-featured system for sharing Reclamation's data. It is in Reclamation's interests to make an investment to better share agency data. Reclamation's customers and stakeholders will benefit from this project by gaining open access to Reclamation datasets that were not previously available to them, or were only available in limited formats or dispersed across Reclamation websites. Providing access to Reclamation data via a Reclamation-wide data portal with interactive tools and web services for downloading data offers an array of benefits.

Open data generally provides the following benefits:

-Enhancing Federal transparency and accountability
-Encouraging civic engagement in resource issues
-Enabling innovation in accomplishing Reclamation's mission
-Supporting economic development and entrepreneurship through the mobilization of datasets

The RISE Expansion project will specifically provide the following benefits for using Reclamation's water data:

-Support more informed decision making by Reclamation, its partners, and other organizations by providing efficient and timely access to data
-Reduce costs by decreasing the staff time required to fulfill data requests through the development of a standard data-sharing framework
-Improve efficiency in data access for external partners, the public, and the educational community by expanding the data available via the RWIS portal
-Support mission needs for data and improving efficiency of data access by mission staff by supporting open data in multiple Reclamation program areas including Hydropower, Infrastructure/Assets, and Environmental Monitoring and Compliance.
-Ensure the privacy and security of Reclamation's data and physical and IT assets by developing and executing a screening process and performing assessment of security controls to comply with NIST standards.
-Minimize duplication of efforts by providing a forum for Reclamation-wide sharing of solutions to address program data management needs (e.g. data management processes, software tools and applications) and
-Bring Reclamation closer to the level of data access already possible at other Interior, federal, state and local entities.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.

Return to Research Projects

Last Updated: 6/22/20