Time Series Web Service -- water.usbr.gov

Project ID: 969
Principal Investigator: Karl Tarbet
Research Topic: Water Operation Models and Decision Support Systems
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: web software webservice water data tools

Research Question

Can open source software be creatively integrated to implement web services for Reclamation's water-related databases?

Much of Reclamation's water data are not available internally or to the public. Data that are on the internet are hosted differently by region and in differnet formats.

A modern web service at water.usbr.gov will provide time series data in computer-friendly formats that will support access by software programs including analysis tools, web browsers, and web applications.

Need and Benefit

Different Regions have different methods to share water data on the public website www.usbr.gov. For example PN and GP Regions have perl scripts that access data from three different Hydromet servers. This technology is working well but variations between the regions makes building Reclamation-wide tools more complicated than it should be.

In 2012 Andrew Gilmore presented this message and recieved 22 votes at a research jam:

"Many water data providers (USGS, NRCS, State of Colorado) provide flexible, secure, and robust public access to their operational (and sometimes historic) data through a technology known as "web services." Public access to Reclamation's operational data varies at least from Region to Region, if not office to office. Reclamation should follow the lead of other federal and state agencies in providing one standard agency-wide method to access hydrologic data which is not available from other providers, or is clearly Reclamation's responsibility"

In the short term providing access to Reclamation data via web services will improve efficiency for external users, the public, and specifically university-type researchers . For example, users would be able to obtain all reservoir data with a single query. Longer term the web services would reduce costs for Reclamation because a standard data-sharing framework may emerge, allowing a single data-access component to be maintained and software to be developed against the standard. More efficient and timely access to water-related data will allow Reclamation, its partners, and other organizations to make more informed decisions related to water and power.

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.

Time Series Web Service -- water.usbr.gov (final, PDF, 904KB)
By Karl Tarbet
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

A modern web service at water.usbr.gov provides time series data in computer-friendly formats that supports access by software programs including analysis tools, web browsers, and web applications. This service uses open-source software to pull data from a variety of different databases. It uses Pisces, a Reclamation-developed software, to provide an interface to graphically format and present time-series data.

The following documents were not reviewed. Statements made in these documents are those of the authors. The findings have not been verified.

Easing Public Access to Reclamation's Reservoir Water Budget Data (final, PDF, 105KB)
By Karl Tarbet
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.


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Last Updated: 4/4/17