EPA Data Web 2.0 Wiki Pilot > EPA USGS Water Quality Web Service

EPA USGS Water Quality Web Service

Table of contents
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Technical Announcement


I wish I had kept you informed of the fantastic progress the Office of Water and USGS together have made in conforming the format for access to their respective water quality databases. For well over a year, EPA's STORET database has produced output using > web services. We have been working with USGS who have made significant programming additions to their NWIS database to produce output in the same format which we call the "WQX Schema. The announcement of their success was widely distributed recently as noted below. The significance of this is that there is now the core of an interagency standard for water quality data delivery. I hope this can receive the recognition it deserves at your conference!

Charles S. Spooner
US Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4503T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20460
Tel:  202-566-1174
Fax: 202-566-1437

Technical Announcement

USGS Provides Water-Quality Information in a Format Compatible with EPA

To access the USGS water-quality web service, please go to http://qwwebservices.usgs.gov .

Water-quality data from the National Water Information System (NWIS) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) can be readily accessed online in a comparable format to data housed in the Storage and Retrieval (STORET) water-quality system of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA).

"For the first time, scientists, water managers, and others interested in water quality can retrieve USGS data in a format that can be easily merged with USEPA data for detailed analyses and modeling,” said Matthew Larsen, USGS Associate Director for Water. “The merged data provide enhanced geographic coverage and depiction of water-quality conditions across the Nation, and the integration of spatial and temporal information from multiple agencies and programs help support analyses that go beyond what individual agencies can achieve individually.”

Data are retrievable in a comparable format developed collaboratively between USGS and USEPA.  The results include discrete provisional and finalized results of physical, chemical, biological, and other descriptive water-quality characteristics using comparable naming conventions. Several file formats are available from the web services including Extensible Markup Language (XML), tab-delimited text, Microsoft Excel and Google Earth Keyhole Markup Language (KML).

The USEPA water-quality web service provides data from the STORET data warehouse that contains biological, chemical, and physical data on surface and ground water collected by federal, state and local agencies, Indian Tribes, volunteer groups, academics, and others (http://www.epa.gov/storet/web_services.html ). All 50 States, territories, and jurisdictions of the U.S. are represented.

The USGS water-quality web service provides data from the NWISweb database (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis ), which hosts 4.3 million samples and 72 million results representing approximately 368,000 sites across the United States from over a century of monitoring.

This new water-quality web service is an integral part of the USGS mission to disseminate to the public water information in a reliable, impartial and timely fashion that is needed to understand the Nation’s water resources (http://water.usgs.gov/data ).

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit http://www.usgs.gov .

For questions or more information, please contact Nate Booth, (608)-821-3822, nlbooth@usgs.gov or Timothy Miller, (703)-648-6868, tlmiller@usgs.gov

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