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Spatial Water Data

Part B
LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY/BUREAU AND/OR SUBCOMMITTEE/WORKING GROUP REPORT (Agencies With Lead Responsibilities Assigned under Current Circular A-16 Authorities) (Please provide a separate report for each activity for which you have the lead)

1. Program/Activity Name:

Subcommittee on Spatial Water Data

2. What are the programs this data supports?

The SSWD, sponsored jointly by the FGDC and the Advisory Committee for Water Information (ACWI), coordinated spatial water data and information activities among all levels of government and the private sector. The committee fosters the development of key datasets including:

  • National Hydrography Dataset
  • Digital Elevation Dataset
  • Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Dataset
  • Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD)

This subcommittee is specifically responsible for coordinating the development of guidelines for delineating hydrologic units of the WBD.

Very Briefly Describe All Applicable Items:
3. Uses of Data: What are the end uses of this data? How does it benefit customers, support lead and other agency missions, etc.?

Hydrologic Units are used by many agencies to derive streamflow characteristics, flood forecasts, TMDL's, and other hydrologic models.

4. Charter/Plan: Do you have a current charter or plan for collection? Should it be updated?

The SSWD currently has the revision to the "Federal Guidelines for Delineation of Hydrologic Unit Boundaries" in review.

5. Metadata: What is the status of metadata? Is it discoverable and served through the NSDI Clearinghouse? What percentage of this theme's data has metadata and is in a Clearinghouse node?

The datasets are still in development. When complete they will be served through the NRCS Lighthouse node to the NSDI and will be discoverable and metadata compliant.

6. Standards: What is the status of this theme's data, process, transfer, and classification standards?

The SSWD currently has the revision to the "Federal Guidelines for Delineation of Hydrologic Unit Boundaries" in review.

7. Progress: List FY 2000/2001 activities/progress to date (quantify where possible)

The SSWD chair, USGS, EPA, and NRCS principals have conducted multi-state workshops to help clarify the guidelines and develop a process to accomplish across state agreement in the watershed boundaries being developed by the states.

8. Leadership: Describe your active leadership role with others (private, local, State, Federal) who collect and use this data.

The USGS/WRD chairs the SSWD and through this committee has led the development of a common WBD guideline that is authored by multiple federal agencies and adopted by the states. To that end we have developed tools and sponsored workshops with the states to transfer the tools and technology to allow them to create a consistent WBD.

9. Collaborative Partnerships: How many major partnerships with others do you have on this theme? (list if desired)

Major partnerships are with USGS/ NRCS, EPA, and NOAA. The work of the Subcommittee on Spatial Water Data is executed jointly via a cooperative partnership with the Advisory Committee on Water Information (see

10. Scope: Are you engaged in broad participation and international/global coordination?

11. Policy: Do you have a policy in place for full and open access or data sharing?

Yes, according to the Terms of Reference of the ACWI the Subcommittee charter states that the subcommittee is to "facilitate the exchange of information and the transfer of data."

12. Are there areas or issues regarding lead responsibilities for spatial data themes that require attention, or lessons-learned that you would like to share with others? Please describe.

The use of a subcommittee is preferable to having one agency lead the development of guidelines. Having guidelines drafted by a multi-agency group with shared information needs facilitates the buy-in and usefulness of the guidelines.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:07 PM
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