Improving the Discovery, Sharing, and Use of Water Data

Photo of hydropower plant with data-related icons overlaying it

Decision-makers engaged in water resource management require a broad variety of water-related data beyond essential information about water quantity and quality, such as data about water uses, water-dependent energy systems, hydro-climatological trends, ecosystem health, and socioeconomic values. Water data are generated and shared by many entities, which can make it difficult for other users to discover, access, and use the data in their activities. Such challenges can be a significant barrier to effective decision-making and sustainable use of water resources.

PNNL and its partners, with support from the Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Water Power Technologies Office, are identifying key challenges and potential pathways to improving the discovery, sharing, and use of water data. The project is engaging with diverse groups of stakeholders at national, regional, and local levels to better understand the types of water data that are needed, issues affecting their accessibility and use, and the range of benefits that may be realized by improving data accessibility and usability. The project team will also be looking at how to improve the discoverability of and access to water-energy research and data products produced by DOE (and other) research laboratories via a pilot study at PNNL.

This project is fostered by collaborations with Stanford University, University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.