Data Access, Analytics, and Workforce Development

Project Name: Improving Discovery, Access, and Usability of Data for Basin-Scale River Management

Project Team: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (lead), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, University of New Hampshire, and University of Maine  

Lead Recipient Location: Richland, Washington

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In May 2021, a team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and three universities concluded a two-year project with a workshop on the opportunities and issues surrounding discoverability, access, and usability of data needed for U.S. river basin management. This workshop, along with a series of “data stories”—visual, interactive, and data-driven stories, such as a dive into water management efforts in Wisconsin or an overview of hydropower in the Penobscot River—is the culmination of a project focused on understanding the challenges of improving access to water data for decision making. 

Decision-making processes for water resource management are data hungry due to increasing uncertainty about the effects of climate change, energy needs, water use, ecosystem health, and other factors. Many entities maintain this data or it can be part of other data sources, making it difficult to discover, access, and use. The team hosted the workshop to share project results and discuss water data needs with a diverse group of stakeholders from across the hydropower and broader water management community, including federal and state agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and industry

In highlighting the importance of accessible and usable water data, the team seeks to build support among key water data producers and consumers to form alliances and support broader initiatives to improve access to data. This will allow for more informed decision-making processes when it comes to clean energy and water management.

Data Access, Analytics, and Workforce Development Projects