2018 GIS & Water Resources X Conference Presentations/Abstracts

April 22-25, 2018 • Orlando, FL
> Search by Speaker (listed alphabetically by last name) > Or, scroll down to Session Schedule, click on the Speaker or Session and then Speaker to view the presentation abstract.

Speaker Abstract



Session Schedule

  • 22 April
  • 23 April
  • 24 April
  • 25 April

Poster Schedule

  • 23 April
  • 24 April

Noha Abdel-Mottaleb

Research Assistant, Student
University of South Florida
Analysis of Water Distribution--Transportation Interface
Connectivity Responding to Network Geometric Morphology

Coauthor: Q. Zhang

Resilience of individual critical infrastructures, such as water distribution networks, continues to be studied. A more recent development in the assessment of critical infrastructures’ resilience is the identification and evaluation of interdependencies between different infrastructures. The interdependency between urban water distribution and transportation networks is doubtlessly present, but the extent is not fully understood nor quantified. Characterizing the interdependencies between urban water distribution and transportation systems can aid in the optimization of both networks in terms of design, operations and maintenance. Although such optimization is multi objective in reality (e.g. maximization of access, minimization of construction costs, and minimization of failure propagation), this research addresses the minimization of failure propagation. We assume that the more connected an interface network between urban water distribution and transportation is, the more easily failures from water distribution networks are propagated to the transportation network. Under this assumption, the purpose of this research is twofold:to mathematically/topologically represent spatial co-location by characterizing the connectivity of interface networks, and to identify the metrics that are most sensitive to changes in network geometric morphology (shape).

To achieve these objectives, more than five cities of varying spatial geometry (i.e. shape) were selected (e.g. Portland, Atlanta, Rome, Tokyo, Dubai). Transportation network data for each respective city is extracted from Openstreetmap, and digital elevation models for each city are downloaded from the Consortium for Spatial Information database. Using an open source virtual water distribution network generator (DynaVIBe), 5 water distribution networks for each city of study are generated. For comparability, a constant total demand of 1083.3 l/s is used for all of the cities’ network generation. For a given city and water network layout, the water distribution network is converted to a shape file and imported into the GIS user interface, and the transportation network for the same city is also imported into GIS for geoprocessing. Both networks are intersected, resulting in a “network of connections”. The network of connections consists of the water pipes and transportation roads (both edges or links of their respective networks) that are overlaid (due to co-location).

This network of connections is then exported to a network analysis software in which the edges of the water network are identified as source nodes (i.e. sources of failure) and the transportation network nodes are identified as target nodes (i.e. where the failure from the water pipes breaks propagates to); here, the network of connections becomes the “interface”. Topological metrics (e.g., betweenness centrality, degree distribution, heterogeneity) that are representative of the connectivity of the water distribution-transportation interface will be identified by comparing their sensitivity to network geometric morphology changes (differently shaped cities’ networks). The network layouts with lower interface connectivity will be investigated. In future research, the identified metrics and network layouts, in concert with simulation and historic utility data, can then be used within constraints in an optimization problem, seeking to minimize the propagation of failure between water and transportation networks of a given city.

23 April

24 April


Sinan Abood

ORISE Research Fellow
US Forest Service
USFS Riparian Areas Inventory & Assessment Project - Joel Encinas presenting for Sinan Abood

Coauthor: L. Spencer

Riparian areas represent 1% of US Forest Service managed landscape but contribute to numerous valuable ecosystem functions such as wildlife habitat, stream water quality and much more. Two staff areas at the US Forest Service have coordinated on a two-phase project to develop national-scale riparian areas base maps to support the national forests in their planning revision efforts and to address rangeland riparian business needs at the forest plan and allotment management plan levels by answering basic metrics such as size, location, spatial distribution, and riparian land cover. We utilized the newly developed Riparian Buffer Delineation Model (RBDM) v5.x toolboxes combined with free open source geospatial data such as US Geological Survey (USGS) streams/water gauges/digital elevation models data, Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) wetlands data, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil data and National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) land cover. This approach recognizes the dynamic and transitional natures of riparian areas by accounting for hydrologic, geomorphic and vegetation data as inputs. Here we present our riparian areas inventory framework with details on mapping technique, results, and applications on national forests and grasslands with results suggesting incorporating functional variable width riparian mapping within watershed management planning to improve protection and restoration of riparian functionality and biodiversity.

25 April

Abood26.pdf Download Link

Karen Adkins

GIS Specialist
Case Studies in Deriving Hydrography From Elevation Data - Pilots and Projects presented by Karen Adkins on behalf of Silvia Terziotti

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is supporting the development of lidar-derived elevation surfaces at a 1-meter resolution. This increasing level of resolution in elevation datasets both highlights the subtle yet significant disagreements between USGS elevation and hydrography data in the National Hydrography data, and also creates the opportunity to improve the vertical and horizontal integration between these datasets. As documented in the Hydrography Requirements and Benefits Study (2016), spatially integrated elevation and hydrography is necessary for natural resource managers to meet mission critical activities. One way that the USGS is responding to the need for integrated elevation and hydrography data is by exploring the best methods to derive hydrography directly from the 3DEP elevation source. This presentation will highlight some important lessons learned and initial best practices for deriving hydrography from high resolution elevation data. Examples from different areas of the country in different physiographic regions, as well as examples that meet varied mission-critical objectives, will be presented.

Stephen Aichele

US Geological Survey
Understanding user needs for a National Terrain Model and 3D NHD

For over 100 years, the U.S. Geological Survey produced integrated topographic data in the form of analog maps. These maps became a mainstay of earth science and land management. With the advent of GIS, users sought to apply the analytical power of digital GIS to these problems, and much of the past 30 years has been spent converting cartographic content from the topographic maps to the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and the National Elevation Dataset (NED), among others. A significant amount of time has also been spent correcting and overcoming the shortcomings of these conversions. The USGS National Geospatial Program is exploring two new concepts to enhance integration, alignment, and interoperability of national elevation and hydrography datasets: the National Terrain Model, an integrated digital elevation model of the landscape mapped both above and below waterbodies, and the 3D National Hydrography Dataset (3D NHD), the next generation of hydrography mapping for the nation. This presentation will focus on the user needs identified in the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA), the Hydrography Requirements and Benefits Study (HRBS), and the in progress 3D Nation study that will guide development of a National Terrain Model and 3D NHD. Examples of implemented functionality or enhancements based on NEEA and HRBS results will be presented, and time will be provided for questions and feedback.

23 April


Ibrahim Alameddine

Assistant Professor
American University of Beirut
Tracking Eutrophication and Storage Volume Fluctuations in a Semi-Arid Reservoir: A Multi-Decadal Landsat-Based Analysis

Coauthor: E.S. Deutsch

In situ monitoring of freshwater systems are often constrained by cost and accessibility, particularly in developing countries and remote areas. As our understanding of the spectral responses of optically active water quality parameters continues to improve, satellite remote sensing is increasingly being integrated with existing in situ water quality monitoring programs. In this study, we make use of the Landsat TM/ETM+ image record collected between 1984 and 2015 to track the temporal changes in the trophic status, chlorophyll-a levels, algal bloom incidences, water clarity, water temperature, and reservoir water volume in a poorly monitored hypereutrophic semi-arid reservoir. Historical reservoir water quality data are inferred from calibrated Landsat-based empirical algorithms. The results show that although the reservoir has existed in a eutrophic to hypereutrophic state over the past 30 years, its water quality has significantly deteriorated in the most recent decade, particularly in the summer season. Mean summer chlorophyll-a concentrations were found to have increased by 110% between the 1984 and 2015, while water clarity dropped by more than 63 % over the same period. Statistically significant changes in surface water temperatures were also apparent for the month of August, with a cumulative increase of 1.24 degrees Celsius over the thirty-one year study period. The rise in temperature appears to correlate with the incidence of Microcystis blooms observed in the reservoir over the past decade. On the other hand, the water volume in the reservoir was found to have been fairly stable over time, likely as a result of adaptive reservoir management. However, the reservoir volume in March appears to have statistically increased in the last decade as compared to the volumes observed pre-1995, pointing to an earlier snowmelt runoff reaching the reservoir. This study demonstrates the strength of using Landsat data to hindcast and quantify changes in water quality and quantity in poorly monitored freshwater systems as a means towards developing informed and transparent management decisions.

25 April


Samantha Allen

Research Assistant
Tennesse Tech University Water Center
Web-Based Geodatabase for the Characterization and Management of a Karst Watershed - Samantha Allen, Tennesse Tech University Water Center, Cookeville, TN

Coauthors:C. Guy-Baker, T. Datta, A. Kalyanapu

The Falling Water River Watershed is a HUC10 watershed located in Middle Tennessee that is experiencing an increase in urban development, recreational activity, and growth in industrial and commercial entities. It is characterized by karst hydrology, resulting in springs, sinkholes and sinking streams.Within any karst watershed, land use changes may have greater effects on downstream water quality. Increases in impervious surfaces can increase the stormwater runoff rates to existing sinkholes, and based on a previous study in 2006 by Hart, probably increases flooding risks when sinkhole swallets are filled during urbanization. Greater runoff and flooding may in turn have adverse effects on water quality and water movement. The uniqueness of the watershed, its uses and its demand for development make the watershed an area of interest to a variety of stakeholders to determine the effects these anthropogenic activities may have on the water quality and watershed hydrology. To allow for an effective way to characterize the watershed using existing data,this project aimed to bring stakeholders together for the purpose of streamlining data collection efforts and decreasing duplication of work. The project focused on facilitating data sharing and collaboration among stakeholders and interpreting existing water quality data. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology allows for data storage, visualization and analysis at the watershed level. Therefore, a database and GIS geodatabase were developed to house data collected from stakeholders and provide the ability for online data sharing among stakeholders. Water quality data for the watershed were grouped by location and a visualization of the spatio-temporal variability was created and analyzed to provide a deeper understanding of the spatial relationships that exist between water quality, land-use, and the karst hydrology. As a result of this project, collaborative and informed watershed management is facilitated. Results from the project will be shared during the presentation.

24 April


Daniel Ames

Brigham Young University
Design and Implementation of a Web-based GIS App for Subsetting and Archiving National Water Model

Coauthors: Z. Li, D. P. Ames, J. Nelson, M. Stealey

The National Water Model (NWM) is a newly designed national-scale hydrologic model that provides streamflow forecasts for the entire continental United States. Since released in August 2016, its daily outputs are about 400GB worth of NetCDF files, which has proven challenging in terms of data storage, mobility, and accessibility. As a complement to the 48-hour storage of model forecast data on the NOAA NOMADS server, the CUAHSI HydroShare project has been archiving the NWM outputs -- extending storage duration up to 40 days. We have added new capabilities to HydroShare to meet the requirement for long-term storage of regional NWM data to support research or applications such as replication and validation, cross-model comparison, and historical data analysis (e.g. hurricane or flooding events). We will present the design and implementation of a GIS-based subsetting tool package that enables users to subset NWM data for archival and analysis purposes. The subsetted data contains model outputs that geographically fall in a user-specified watershed polygon, and the resulting files follow the original NWM NetCDF file conventions being compatible with existing NWM tools. This tool package has been integrated by the latest NWM Forecast Viewer Tethys App which is part of the HydroShare web app environment. All of its key functions have been exposed through a simple user interface and also through machine accessible application programmer interfaces (APIs).

Water Resources Web Apps Made Easier-ish: Introducing Tethys 2.0

D.P. Ames, J. Nelson, N. Jones, Z. Li, X. Qiao, M. Souffront, N. Swain

From the dawn of the internet, water resources data scientists and engineers have continually and boldly engaged with the challenge of developing and deploying interactive water data visualization and analysis web sites. This challenge is characterized by ever-changing internet technologies, new and endlessly varying programming languages and libraries, rapidly growing datasets, and increasingly complex analytical and modeling techniques. Indeed, the ideal water web site is always just out of reach because of these always changing tools and growing needs. It is likely that such challenges will exist for many future generations of hydroinformaticists. However, we reason that it ought to be possible to at least reduce the gap between what we can readily accomplish with existing tools and technologies and what our ideal might be. Towards this end, the Tethys Platform for water resources web apps has been developed. This platform combines a number of key visualization and data management technologies within a Django-based Python programming environment that simplifies deploying GIS-enabled water resources web apps. The system provides developers and users with an app portal, not entirely unlike the app paradigm that is common on tablets and mobile phones, where each app is developed, tested, deployed, and operated independently of other apps in the same portal. The app development framework includes OpenLayers map visualization, 52North geoprocessing capabilities, PostgreSQL database access, and a number of so-called "gizmos" that simplify user interface development. This presentation will give an architectural overview of the free and open source Tethys Platform and will illustrate the capabilities of the framework using several apps developed using the recently released Tethys version 2.0.

24 April

25 April


Thomas Amstadt

Project Engineer
Geosyntec Consultants
Geoprocessing Tools to Prioritize Stormwater Assets by Criticality

Coauthor: P. Miselis

The criticality of infrastructure, stormwater or otherwise, may be defined as a combination of the severity of consequences and the likelihood of failure of a stormwater asset. Consequences of asset failure includes flooding, financial, social, environmental and other factors. Likelihood of asset failure is influenced by factors such as asset material type, condition, age, etc. Knowledge of asset criticality helps stormwater managers prioritize needs to optimize the flood reduction and water quality benefits provided by their maintenance and capital improvement programs. Pinellas County developed a methodology for quantifying the criticality of stormwater infrastructure based on several physical and spatial factors. The methodology included the development of GIS tools to facilitate running the analysis on future, updated datasets. The presentation focuses on four main topics. 1. Criticality scoring methodology development: This includes a summary of the physical and spatial factors considered and the scoring methodology used to score infrastructure assets based on these factors. 2. How the scoring methodology was applied to the GIS infrastructure data: Calculations at example locations are included. 3. Development of user-friendly GIS tools to apply criticality scores to all the GIS infrastructure data in the County as needed so the criticality scoring and prioritization may be easily updated as new asset or spatial factor data are added. 4. How Pinellas County uses the criticality scores to improve their stormwater infrastructure management program.

25 April


Becci Anderson

National Hydrography Co-Lead
The National Hydrography Infrastructure: A Systems-Based Approach to Managing Our Nation’s Digital Waters

Until recently, the USGS managed two discrete but related national hydrography datasets for the inland waters of the United States - the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). In 2017, those datasets, along with high resolution 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) data, were used to produce the first NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR) data for the country. To build on this integration into the future, the USGS is now shifting from the management of separate datasets toward an open and interoperable systems-based approach to national hydrography to support enhanced discovery of and access to water-related information both on and off the stream network. The concept for the National Hydrography Infrastructure includes a nationwide NHDPlus HR framework, increased web-based map services, and an improved ability to link and discover data referenced to the framework. This presentation will provide an overview of the National Hydrography Infrastructure concept and discuss its development to date.

Workshop: Shaping the future - USGS National Terrain Model and 3D NHD Part 1

Workshop Leaders:
Vicki Lukas, USGS, Chief of Topographic Data Services of National Geospatial Program, Reston, VA;
Becci Anderson, USGS, National Hydrography Co-Lead of National Geospatial Program, Anchorage, AK;
Jason Stoker, USGS, Chief Elevation Scientist of National Geospatial Program, Fort Collins, CO
Water – too much, too little, poor quality – is among the defining issues of our times. Foundational hydrography data provided by the USGS, including the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR), and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), have long supported a range of critical applications including monitoring water quality and availability, flood forecasting and risk management, fisheries management, and environmental health, among many others.

The USGS is in the early stages of defining a strategic road map to develop the next generation of hydrography data derived from and interoperable with elevation data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The road map outlines the development of a National Terrain Model that is a continuous topo-bathymetric surface derived from high resolution elevation and bathymetry, integrated with 3D hydrography including man-made hydrography and surface-water groundwater interactions.

The USGS is hosting an interactive workshop to hear your ideas and perspectives on the roadmap, the concepts of a National Terrain Model and 3D NHD, and related applications. At the workshop, participants will:
• Learn about the strategic road map of the National Terrain Model and 3D NHD.
• Hear perspectives and feedback from a panel of experts, and share thoughts, ideas, and questions in interactive discussions.
• Join us to help shape the future generation of USGS topographic information.

Workshop: Shaping the Future - USGS National Terrain Model and 3D NHD Part 2

Workshop Leaders:
Vicki Lukas, USGS, Chief of Topographic Data Services of National Geospatial Program, Reston, VA
Becci Anderson, USGS, National Hydrography Co-Lead of National Geospatial Program, Anchorage, AK
Jason Stoker, USGS, Chief Elevation Scientist of National Geospatial Program, Fort Collins, CO

Water – too much, too little, poor quality – is among the defining issues of our times. Foundational hydrography data provided by the USGS, including the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR), and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), have long supported a range of critical applications including monitoring water quality and availability, flood forecasting and risk management, fisheries management, and environmental health, among many others.

The USGS is in the early stages of defining a strategic roadmap to develop the next generation of hydrography data derived from and interoperable with elevation data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The roadmap outlines the development of a National Terrain Model that is a continuous topo-bathymetric surface derived from high resolution elevation and bathymetry, integrated with 3D hydrography including man-made hydrography and surface-water groundwater interactions.

The USGS is hosting an interactive workshop to hear your ideas and perspectives on the roadmap, the concepts of a National Terrain Model and 3D NHD, and related applications. At the workshop, participants will:
• Learn about the strategic roadmap of the National Terrain Model and 3D NHD.
• Hear perspectives and feedback from a panel of experts, and share thoughts, ideas, and questions in interactive discussions.
• Join us to help shape the future generation of USGS topographic information.

23 April

25 April

25 April


Christy-Ann Archuleta

Standards Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey
SpecX - Your Pathway to The National Map Hydrography Dataset Specifications

Coauthors: J. Walter, J. Kaufmann, M. Bearskin

SpecX, short for Specifications Explorer, is a set of database and web-based tools being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to allow the public to easily access specifications documentation for the National Hydrography Dataset, the National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution, the Watershed Boundary Dataset, and other datasets for The National Map through an online interface. This new tool will allow U.S. Geological Survey personnel to efficiently capture, maintain, curate, and report on standards and specifications information. Until the development of this tool, the process for publication of specifications for The National Map was both costly and lengthy, and occasionally resulted in the release of outdated documentation by the time of publication. Additionally, the process of documenting this type of information involved publishing the same information in many formats for different datasets, which is inefficient, difficult to maintain, and allows for errors. A consolidated specification repository with online discovery features allows for continuous updates to specifications, eliminates duplication across datasets, provides faster and easier maintenance, enables tools for navigating through and querying the information in the database, and allows for report generation. The project team is also evaluating future capabilities for integration with The National Map Viewer, as well as development of Application Program Interfaces for easy integration with other U.S. Geological Survey mapping tools. SpecX is currently being implemented within the U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program with an anticipated public release in 2018.

24 April

Christy-Ann Archuleta - Archuleta14.pdf Download Link

David Arctur

Research Scientist
University of Texas at Austin
2017 Hurricanes: Compilation of Flooding and Related Data

Coauthors: D. Tarboton, D. Maidment, M. Seul, R. Idaszak

In August-September 2017, Hurricane Harvey became the largest storm of up to 5 days duration ever recorded in the United States. Over 60 inches of rain fell in places, and flooding and associated damage in the greater Houston area was extensive, with the storm extending across Texas and neighboring states. Shortly after Harvey struck, Hurricane Irma cut a broad swath across the Caribbean, Florida, and into nearby states, also causing widespread devastation and flooding. During the first few days following these events, even the most elementary kinds of questions about flood inundation depths, extents, and impacts could not be answered because we lacked the ability to collect important data and the ability to assimilate available data into decision relevant information. To fill these gaps and improve our understanding of and capability to prepare for and respond to such extreme events, it is important that data from these events be organized, archived, and made available for research. In October 2017, NSF granted RAPID funding to bring this about, utilizing the CUAHSI HydroShare community repository. This presentation describes progress to date, lessons learned, and plans for next steps.

25 April


David Arscott

Executive Director and Research Scientist
Stroud Water Research Center
Model My Watershed®: A web application for modeling stormwater runoff and water quality

Coauthors: A.K. Aufdenkampe, D. Tarboton, B. Evans, S. Haag, A. Robbins, Azavea, M. McFarland, S. Kerlin, M. Daniel

Model My Watershed® (MMW) is a free web application for modeling the influences of land use and best management practices on stormwater runoff and water quality. The public can access this tool at www.WikiWatershed.org. WikiWatershed is a toolkit designed to help citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, researchers, educators, and students advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water. Any person with access to the internet can launch MMW and begin exploring landscape features within their watershed. Users can then run stormwater models to predict runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration and water quality outcomes related to land use changes and implementation of best management practices for improving water quality and quantity in their watershed. MMW lets you: (1) visualize and analyze diverse geographic data layers of value in stormwater and water quality modeling; (2) define an area of interest for modeling and analysis by interactive drawing, selection within given dataset polygons, online watershed delineation, or uploading a file; (3) select a model to estimate storm runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, and nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment concentrations/loadings; and (4) modify features within your area of Interest by changing land use or implementing best management practices to run models and compare-contrast various modeled scenarios. The two modeling approaches that are currently implemented within MMW are: the Site Storm Model, which simulates a single 24-hour storm event by applying a hybrid of the Source Loading and Management Model (SLAMM), TR-55, and the simplest of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations evaporation models for runoff quantity and EPA’s STEP-L model for water quality; and the Watershed Multi-Year Model, which simulates 30-years of daily weather, hydrology, nutrient, and sediment fluxes using the Generalized Watershed Loading Function Enhanced (GWLF-E) model that was developed for the MapShed desktop modeling application (B.M. Evans, Penn State University). The GWLF-E model is also one of five watershed models available within EPA’s BASINS multi-purpose modeling application. Model My Watershed has been coupled to HydroShare (www.hydroshare.org), a web based hydrologic information system operated by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc. (CUAHSI) that is available for use as a service to the hydrology community. HydroShare includes a repository for users to share and publish data and models in a variety of formats, and to make this information available in a citable, shareable, and discoverable manner. Results from MMW analyses may be directly exported to HydroShare for sharing with others. WikiWatershed is an initiative of Stroud Water Research Center and is made possible through partnerships and contributions from individuals, organizations, and companies throughout the U.S., including: LimnoTech, Azavea, Penn State University, Utah State University, University of Washington, and Drexel University. Development of WikiWatershed has been funded by the William Penn Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Stroud Water Research Center.

24 April


Roger Barlow

Supervisory Physical Scientist
Integration of Lidar-Derived Surface-Water With Storm-Water Systems as Part of the National Hydrographic Dataset for the Washington, DC Area

Coauthor: G. Onyullo

The District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) have funded a project through the U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial Program (USGS) to create an integrated urban waterway system of surface water derived from lidar digital elevation models and hydro-enforced. Surface water is connected to infalls and outfalls of the storm-water network, and connecting pipes and culverts at the local resolution of the National Hydrographic Dataset (NHD). Local jurisdiction data has been obtained for guidance and transformation to the NHD and the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). Lidar and local jurisdiction data will be used to update and delineate the WBD to the 14-digit level. The production work is being performed by Quantum Spatial Incorporated, the USGS and local partners will quality assure content, and the USGS will enter the completed hydrography data into the National Hydrographic Dataset. The project area includes eight HUC-12s that all have some area in the District of Columbia. A number partner datasets have been contributed from DC Water, Fairfax County, Virginia, City of Alexandria, Virginia, and Arlington County, Virginia to create a large scale metropolitan area hydrography dataset. The Maryland Department of the Environment is also creating a densified stream network for the HUC-12s upstream from those that are in the District of Columbia. This presentation will provide an overview of the submitted project data types, issues encountered in data consistency, data integration, production approaches, and a look at preliminary data from the production pilot area of the Anacostia Watershed in the District of Columbia, and follow-on projects now being planned. This presentation will also show the current lack of NHD data in large urban centers, and how this project will address that kind of data gap and support urban water studies. From the DOEE and other data partners perspectives, this integrated surface and storm-water network brings them closer to effective storm water management solutions as this will be available to monitor and manage as an integrated system. This project will provide a hydrography network to better evaluate “interior” flooding events identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the District of Columbia not due to riverine or coastal flooding processes.

25 April


Marcus Beck

Use Of Open Science to Inform Restoration Projects in Estuaries: A Tampa Bay Example

Coauthors: E. Sherwood, K. Dorans, J. R. Henkel, K. Ireland, P. Varela

Habitat and water quality restoration projects are commonly used to enhance coastal resources or mitigate negative impacts of water quality stressors. Significant financial resources have been contributed for restoration projects, yet much less attention has focused on evaluating the outcomes beyond site-specific assessments. Collaboration among researchers to synthesize restoration and water quality data across different spatiotemporal scales is also challenging using conventional methods that lack efficiency, transparency, and reproducibility. This study used open science tools to evaluate multiple datasets in the Tampa Bay area to identify 1) types of restoration projects that produce the greatest improvements in water quality, and 2) which time frames and synergistic effects of projects are most relevant for having the largest perceived benefits. Changes in chlorophyll concentrations as a proxy of eutrophication were used to assign a probabilistic expectation of water quality changes from investments in restoration activities. Water infrastructure projects to control point sources of nutrient loading into the bay were associated with the highest likelihood of chlorophyll reduction, particularly for projects occurring prior to 1994. Habitat restoration projects were also associated with reductions in chlorophyll, although the likelihood of reductions from the cumulative effects of these projects were less than those from infrastructure improvements. We will also demonstrate how open science tools facilitated collaboration between the authors, and more importantly, how the open science workflow will enable application of our analysis to other scenarios.

23 April


Keanan Bell

Geospatial Services Manager
A New Eye in the Sky: How Drone Technology is Advancing Data Acquisition and Modeling

Drone (aka, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV) technology has impacted the world in a number of ways, providing an effective resource to capture high quality video and aerial data. The ability of a drone to reach inaccessible or otherwise cost-prohibitive areas has made it a valuable tool that provides on-demand data that is fast, flexible and affordable. Used in combination with post-processing software, drone imagery and data can be upgraded to create accurate 2D maps and 3D models for a myriad of products, including topographic surveys, thermal imaging, digital surface/elevation models, volumetric calculations, multispectral applications and 3D models with photorealistic textures. Since the Federal Aviation Administration has begun approving drone use for commercial applications, the water resource and environmental industries are being rapidly advanced by the innovations provided by the use of drone technology. This session will explore drone technology and some of the cutting-edge innovations and future uses that utilize drones to provide a promising option in the water resource management toolkit.

24 April


Tedros Berhane

Remote Sensing Specialist (P2)
Pegasus Technical Services Inc
Best Practices of Field and Remote Sensing Data Processing Techniques For Satisfactory Land Use/Land Cover Mapping

Coauthor: C. Lane

Studies have suggested object-based image analysis is superior to pixel-based approaches for land use/land cover mapping and classification. We evaluated pixel- and object-based image classification approaches using the random forest (RF) classifier to delineate the Barguzin Valley wetland, a large wetland (~500 km2) in the Lake Baikal, Russia, drainage basin, into 18-classes of vegetation and aquatic habitats. Model performance was optimized through the inclusion of derived variables and auxiliary datasets (e.g., NDVI, etc.). We also tested the effect of multiresolution segmentation in image-object generation and its effects in improving the object-based-RF wetland classification. We used extensive field vegetation and aquatic habitat data collected to train the RF models, and also used a hold-out portion of those data to validate the final wetland classification thematic maps. A five-predictor model had higher overall accuracy (OA) with the object-based approach (90.4%) than the pixel-based RF approach (84.9%). However, using the most parsimonious model of three-predictors (QuickBird (QB) band 3, water ratio index, and mean texture derived from QB band 4) resulted in higher OA for the pixel-based-RF approach (87.9%) than for the object-based-RF approach (84.6%). McNemar’s test indicated no significant difference between the pixel or object-based results for either a 3- or 5-predictor stack. Considering the substantial amount of time required for rigorous parametrization of the object-based approach, as well as the subjective nature of the object-based approach (e.g., determining segmentation scale) and the expenses of the commercial software required, we conclude that the pixel-based-RF approach sufficiently characterizes complex wetland systems and aquatic habitats with a satisfactory level of accuracy – though we acknowledge that in certain cases wherein objects are the primary subject of interest, conducting an object-oriented approach may be warranted.

Is Object-based Image Analysis Superior to Pixel-based Classification: It Depends
Coauthors:C. Lane, Q. Wu, O. Anenkhonov , V. Chepinoga, B.
Autrey, H. Liu

Geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) techniques are vital for generation of various geospatial products to aid in the monitoring and management of natural resources. Coupled GIS/RS applications include water resources planning, flood risk management, and wetland and aquatic habitats mapping – all relevant to vibrant natural resource management. With the launch of various satellite platforms and sensors proving high spatial and spectral resolution RS data as well as an increasingly robust suite of modeling techniques (e.g., including machine-learning classification algorithms such as random forest), a wealth of information can now be extracted to map and characterize complex natural systems with a great spatial detail. However, choosing the most applicable approach(es) for accurately classifying natural systems using available GIS/RS data, however, can be daunting. In this study, we present the utilization of various field and remote sensing data processing approaches in mapping and quantifying the spatial extent and distribution of a large and complex wetland system, including: (1) balanced and unbalanced field datasets to inform classifiers of choice, (2) pure- vs heterogeneous regions of interest, (3) pixel- vs object-based classification approaches as well as (4) parametric vs non-parametric classification methods, (5) the need for data-dimensionality reduction, and (6) discussions on techniques for inclusion of derived and auxiliary datasets. Using our experience from multiple large-spatial scale (>500 km2) case studies with upwards of 350+ field-based data points, we provide suggestions for focusing applications on the best combinations to effectively prioritize workflow to generate accurate land use/cover maps in a timely fashion.

23 April


David Blodgett

Civil Engineer
US Geological Survey
Application of an International Standard for Hydrologic Features Toward More Open Hydrologic Science Data.

The idea of open science includes transparency and openness of scientific data, methods, and discourse. As hydrologic science becomes increasingly data intensive, computational, and at large landscape scales, the challenges for openness of scientific data increase in several ways. This talk will describe recent advances toward standard information models that aim to provide shared concepts and terminology for hydrologic information. Hydrologic data is typically collected to describe some aspect of a waterbody or catchment. Hydrographic data, a type of hydrologic data, is the spatial description of these waterbody and catchment features. The new community standard, WaterML2 Part 3: Surface Hydrology Features (HY_Features), seeks to provide a conceptual model and common terminology for the hydrologic features that are the focus of hydrologic science. The HY_Features standard can play a role in all aspects of open hydrologic science: 1) It can be used as a documentation language for data. 2) it can be used to describe the kinds of and relationships between hydrologic features associated with a scientific method or software. 3) it can provide a lingua franca for description of features that are the subject of hydrologic science. HY_Features, published in early 2018, includes an informative description of the conceptual model, a set of normative statements (rules) that describe how to conform to the standard, and a data model described using Unified Modeling Language classes and diagrams. The standard does not include a specific data encoding. It is expected that encodings will be established as needed by organizations and/or the hydrologic science community. Among the many potential applications of the HY_Features conceptual model, linking disparate information about and among hydrologic features on the internet has great potential for enhancing open science. This talk will present the findings of an international collaboration toward this goal called the Environmental Linked Features Interoperability Experiment (ELFIE). HY_Features concepts will be presented using applications implemented for the ELFIE as case studies to illustrate how HY_Features and the technology implemented in the ELFIE will enhance open and transparent hydrologic science.

23 April

David Blodgett - HY_Features for Open Science (1).pdf Download Link

Tim Bondelid

Water Resources Consultant
TRB Consulting
NHDPlusV2 Routing With Hydrologically Sequenced Flowlines and Nodes

NHDPlus provides, among its many capabilities, an excellent integrated system for modeling, attribute accumulation, and other hydrologically-based network routing applications. The Value Added Attributes (VAAs), particularly the Hydrologic Sequence Number (Hydroseqno) and Node Numbers are two attributes that will be highlighted. These VAAs provide simple yet powerful methods for NHDPlus network traversal. The Hydroseqno provides capabilities for processing NHDPlus segments (flowlines) in hydrologic order. Several types of analysis tools can be built using Hydroseqnos and Node Numbers as the building blocks. To build and use these tools it is important to understand exactly what these VAAs are and how to use them. This presentation will explain these VAAs and walk through some applications. Hydroseqnos provide the capabability to order the NHDPlus flowlines in either upstream or downstream order. For instance, by sorting the stream segments by descending Hydroseqno, the NHDPlus network can be traversed in a downstream hydrologic sequence. This sequence of flowline processing provides the same ordering that a standard water modeling or attribute accumulation system would use. Node Numbers provide a simple yet powerful capability to manage accumulations and tracking of attributes in both upstream and downstream routing. For example, one classic method for modeling is called “link-node” modeling. In this approach, each link represents a segment of a stream, and the results and accumulations occur at the nodes where these segments join. For modeling and/or accumulation of attributes, NHDPlus has Node Numbers defined at each network junction. Each flowline contains the upstream and downstream Node Numbers. These Node Numbers can manage cumulative attributes with simple SQL statements. This presentation will explain how the HydroSeqnos and Node Numbers are defined in NHDPlus. Techniques using SQL are illustrated for taking advantage of these attributes for downstream accumulation and modeling. Also, upstream navigation analyses using Hydroseqnos and Node Numbers will be shown. Diagrams, flowcharts and sample code snippets will be used to explain, step-by-step, how to build and enhance various hydrologically-based tools using these NHDPlus VAAs. The basic software coding for these types of traversals is compact and efficient. This frees the analyst to focus more on the model or application development and less on the hydrologic network traversal logic. Results from the NHDPlus Exercise 8, “The Simple Model”, will be shown as an example system. The goal is to provide NHDPlus users with a basic understanding of how to take advantage of these VAAs for their own work.

24 April

Tim Bondelid - Bondelid12.pdf Download Link

Jesse Borrman-Padgett

How's My Waterway?
Jesse Borrman-Padgett presenting for Michelle Thawley

The EPA’s Water Quality Framework (WQF) is a new way of integrating EPA’s data and information systems to more fully support water quality managers. The Framework streamlines water quality assessment and reporting while providing a more complete picture of the nation’s water quality. By integrating data systems through the implementation of the WQF, there is considerable reduction in the burden to the states by streamlining the Clean Water Act assessment and reporting process. The Framework incorporates access to EPA data systems including Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS), STORET, Grants Reporting and Tracking System (GRTS) and NHDPlus to provide better measurement and reporting of water quality improvement, more transparency in water quality decision making, as well as placing water quality information into a spatial context. In addition to improving the experience of water quality managers, the WQF can serve as the basis for providing public access to water quality information. How’s My Waterway, a public web application currently in development, tells the story and condition of water quality in the United States on several scales. The application provides an interactive, easy to use interface that will educate users on water quality issues and allow them to explore at the national, state, county and watershed scales. At the community level, users can input an address or zip code and easily access water data information to generate a local ‘story’, summarized by HUC12s, that touches on drinking water, recreation, ecological life, potential water quality issues, water quality detects, ongoing restoration efforts, and links to ways to help the public get involved.

23 April

Jesse Boorman-Padgett - Boorman-Padgett5.pdf Download Link

Del Bottcher

SWET, Inc.
GIS Based Watershed Assessment Model (WAM) for Evaluating Existing, Pre-Development, and Future Scenarios in Florida

Coauthor: A. I. James

The Watershed Assessment Model (WAM) is being used by government agencies to help develop TMDLs and associated abatement strategies for impaired watersheds throughout Florida. To assist in the development of the Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) to meet TMDL targets, WAM simulates the entire watershed on a spatial scale of one hectare for existing, pre-development, and various future abatement strategy scenarios. Understanding the historical watershed responses helps identify realistic limits of what can be achieved with respect to nutrient reductions. When historical responses are compared against existing and future scenarios the relative effectiveness of various abatement strategies can be determined. These strategies include but are not limited to urban and agricultural best management practices (BMP), local and regional wetland treatment systems, dispersed water storage projects, stormwater treatment (retention/detention, reuse, and chemical treatment), and advanced domestic wastewater treatment. The presentation will briefly describe WAM and its underlying algorithms for spatially simulating the surface and groundwater flows and associated suspended solids, nitrogen, and phosphorus concentrations as they are generated for each one-hectare source cell in the watershed. These flows and loads are then routed through the stream/canal network to watershed outlet. The simulation results are being used to prioritize BMAP programs and related projects for achieving the maximum benefits from available funding resources.

24 April


Stephen Bourne

Project Director
Atkins, North America, Inc.
Maximizing Community Return on Investment Through Integrated Discipline Geospatial Simulation

Resilience has become a buzzword as communities witness the very real impacts of record sea levels, damaging hurricanes, scorching heat waves, deadly wild fires, and pernicious drought – records that were all broken around the world in the last 12 months. P.C.D. Milly famously said that stationarity - the concept that the variability of natural systems remains the same over time – is dead (Science magazine, 2008). This death is coming to light and communities must now do the hard work of managing their water resources in this new paradigm. This paper will explore a new modeling approach that starts with the concept that water resources doesn’t exist in a vacuum; rather it is one of many in a system of systems that must be understood and forecasted to be managed. The model presented – Atkins City Simulator – is a geospatially based model that integrates well-known concepts from modeling of economic, transportation, demographic, ecosystem, and natural and man-made water systems. The underling concept of the model is that the closer we can get to depicting the interdependent reality of a community – the people and their activities, the economy, the infrastructure, the natural systems – the closer we can get to an understanding of how resilient the community will be to natural disasters. By simulating the community growing over time and being hit with disasters as the growth occurs, we can measure how resilient the community is. Furthermore, we can measure how resilient the community will be given new resilience measures are installed with community investment. It is this measure of projected resilience return on investment (RROI) that will be the driving factor in communities deciding how to protect themselves in an uncertain future. In the context of unprepared cities being downgraded by credit rating agencies like Moody’s, it will be the promise of ROI in safety, convenience, productivity, and of course funding, that will push investors to invest in projects that increase community resilience. The paper will present several case studies where the City Simulator was used to quantify metrics related to RROI in the Dominican Republic and North Carolina. Future directions will also be presented.

23 April

25 April


Stephanie Brady

Senior Research Associate
Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Science @ Tarleton State University
Using the NHDPlusV2 to Standardize Texas Watersheds

Watersheds for impaired streams and rivers within the State of Texas have historically been delineated on a case-by-case basis, creating complexity in addressing water-quality concerns. With the advent of the NHDPlusV2, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program contracted the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Science (TIAER) to create a relational database linking thousands of linear stream segments and assessment units to NHD flowlines and catchments across the state, effectively standardizing watershed delineation for future projects. This talk will describe the development of an effective approach (incorporating tools created in ArcGIS Model Builder) to link these two quasi-similar datasets.

23 April

Stephanie Brady - Brady4.pdf Download Link

Susan Buto

Physical Scientist
US Geological Survey
Toward Vertical Integration of the WBD with the NHDPlus HR

The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) is a foundational hydrography dataset that, combined with the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) data, is used to construct the NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR) dataset. NHDPlus HR links the stream network to the landscape by providing elevation-based catchments associated with NHD stream reaches. These catchments, combined with the stream network in NHD and the hydrologic units in WBD provide a geospatial hydrography framework for the nation. In its current form, the WBD is primarily a hand delineated dataset based on a wide variety of basemaps, chiefly 1:24,000-scale USGS topographic maps. Manual WBD maintenance in response to updates and changes to available basemaps and the NHD can be costly and time-consuming and can result in misalignment between WBD and NHDPlus HR catchments. This presentation will describe the recent effort to identify methods and solutions to improve vertical integration between WBD and NHDPlus HR catchments by eliminating the need for hand delineation of WBD in all but a limited number of situations. Improved vertical alignment will help to resolve errors between models built on NHDPlus HR and subsequently reported using WBD hydrologic units, saving time and money, and resulting in a more integrated, reproducible, and current product.

25 April


Nick Callaghan

Using GIS to Increase Outreach and Data Accuracy for the FEMA RiskMAP Program

Coauthor: D. Gwartney

With data continuously growing, the advance in technology, presence of immediacy, separation of personnel and the everlasting term of “Needing it last week,” communication and sharing of information has become increasingly difficult. ArcGIS Online (AGOL) provided an opportunity to develop a system that aids communities by keeping them informed and allowing them to provide study specific information about their maps. The AGOL Web App allowed stakeholders to answer the questions, “What is the status of my maps,” and, “Where are we in the cycle of the project?” The Web App gave all stakeholders involved in the flood risk analysis the ability to dynamically view modeled floodplains online, and add comments directly within the digital environment. This process makes communication efficient, reliable, accurate, and more extensive. AGOL was employed to facilitate Flood Study Review meetings by allowing communities and scientists to provide insight regarding historic flood problems, confirm accuracy of delineated floodplains, and allow a platform for communicating data gaps or new data that may aid the delineation of flood risk in an area. Moving away from paper-oriented notes or map markups allows accuracy in comments and rapid transmittal of information. The primary advantage of using AGOL for public outreach was ensuring all comments could be collected from multiple devices simultaneously while also providing a means to quickly transmit data and information to necessary parties. This presentation will discuss the evolving solution to meet the growing needs in the RiskMAP program for public outreach and communication efforts that occurred, specifically in the State of Missouri. The AGOL Web App designed for this effort is database driven using ESRI Technology and shows the data at all stages of development. During each project phase, the data is updated to showcase specific datasets developed within each phase and the evolution of flood modeling throughout the entire project. At each phase, links to minutes for various meetings, brochures of helpful information regarding the study, and definitions with helpful hints for the various milestone events along the way are available for the user. The Web App has helped streamline efforts, providing a central location for important and needed information throughout the life cycle of the project.

23 April


David Campbell

How Remote Sensing is Increasingly Being Used Within the Water Industry

Coauthor: S. Clough

Recent developments in technology along with a shift in thinking by water managers have led to remote sensing use increasing within the water sector. The water industry is now routinely making use of satellite imagery, airborne data as well as drones to collect data previously gathered through ground based surveys. This presentation will show a selection of real world examples of how remote sensing has been used to help save money and deliver results quickly than alternative methods. These examples include: mapping pipe leakage from the air; finding sources of pollution in watersheds with satellite and airborne data; mapping infrastructure and assets; generating topographic data for new construction developments; habitat mapping in rivers and wetlands; and invasive species distribution, as well as other applications. Continued development and implementation of the remote sensing method will enable wide areas to be surveyed more efficiently, helping to improve America’s waterways.

24 April


Edward Carter

Hydrologist III
St Johns River Water Mgmt Dist
Septic Area Threat Estimation with Indexing

Septic Area Threat Assessment with Spatial Indexing (lessons learned) Switching from onsite disposal systems, usually septic tanks, to sewage treatment is one way to reduce nutrient loading to groundwater and the water bodies downstream. Spatial indexing helps identify trouble areas where conversion to sewer provides greater nutrient reductions to groundwater and the environment. There are several agencies looking at this same issue and using different methods. This poster illustrates one simple method that has been evaluated along with challenges in data acquisition, factor selection, and choice of weighting factors associated with the process. Results from this method of spatial indexing are presented for several Florida locations.

23 April

24 April

Ed Carter - CarterPoster.pdf Download Link

Tim Cera

Senior Professional Engineer
St. Johns River Water Management District
TauDEM Tools for Watershed Delineation and Analysis

TauDEM suite of programs where developed to calculate hydrologic information from Digital Elevation Models (DEM). It includes DEM conditioning and correction, delineation, stream network development, distance to features (stream or divide), accumulation (downslope, decay limited, concentration limited, accumulation limited, reverse), avalanche runout zone, and others. For flat or closed basins, the typical approach of conditioning the DEM by pit-filling doesn't work well and those areas need to be masked.

Virtual GDAL/OGR Geospatial Data Format

The GDAL/OGR libraries are open-source, geo-spatial libraries that work with a wide range of raster and vector data sources. One of many impressive features of the GDAL/OGR libraries is the ViRTual (VRT) format. It is an XML format description of how to transform raster or vector data sources on the fly into a new dataset. The transformations include: mosaicking, re-projection, look-up table (raster), change data type (raster), and SQL SELECT command (vector). VRTs can be used by GDAL/OGR functions and utilities as if they were an original source, even allowing for chaining of functionality, for example: have a VRT mosaic hundreds of VRTs that use look-up tables to transform original GeoTiff files. We used the VRT format for the presentation of hydrologic model results, allowing for thousands of small VRT files representing all components of the monthly water balance to be transformations of a single land cover GeoTiff file.

24 April

25 April

Tim Cera - Cera15.pdf Download Link
Tim Cera - Cera32.pdf Download Link

Nathan Clements

Senior Hydro-meteorologist/Climate Change and Resiliency Lead
HDR, Inc.
City of Sarasota Climate Adaptation Study: A GIS-based Application

Coauthor: M. McMahon, S. Swanson

HDR Engineering performed a GIS-based Climate Adaptation Study for the City of Sarasota, FL. The purpose of this study was to evaluate climate-related threats to public infrastructure utilizing GIS in order to understand how current conditions and future changes in parameters such as sea level rise (SLR), storm surge, and precipitation intensity might impact the City of Sarasota’s transportation networks, storm water management, water supply, wastewater systems, public lands, and critical buildings. This assessment utilized existing GIS datasets of man-made and natural, city-owned and managed infrastructure. HDR, subject matter experts, and City staff reviewed these datasets for completeness and accuracy and when necessary, collected locations of critical features using GPS in the field. The final GIS Geodatabase contained over 40 layers representing the City’s transportation facilities, wastewater facilities, water supply facilities, stormwater management facilities, public lands, and critical buildings. A major component of this study was to analyze potential threats to the City from SLR and storm surge inundation. Geospatial datasets were utilized from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Office for Coastal Management, which specializes in creating inundation maps showing depths of SLR (based on projected depths of 0 – 6ft) to coastal areas across the United States. These data were available for download in raster format and easily imported to an ArcGIS desktop environment. HDR displayed the SLR data in conjunction with the critical city infrastructure spatial data in order to provide a comprehensive review of near- and long-term infrastructure vulnerabilities to future climate threats. Similarly, HDR used National Weather Service’s (NWS) National Hurricane SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) model (2017) to look at the additive impacts of SLR plus storm surge to address the likelihood and risk of the city’s infrastructure to potential increases in storm inundation issues in the future. The City’s infrastructure was assigned risk and criticality scores in collaboration with city staff. This engagement process, combined with the GIS-focused likelihood analysis, was used to create vulnerability outputs for the 219 inventoried assets. This initial inventory included 34 transportation assets, 52 stormwater assets,11 water features, 21 water supply assets, 34 wastewater assets, 47 public lands, 6 public shorelines, and 14 buildings. The vulnerability and risk analysis were combined to rank the threat to each infrastructure asset. This process was used to prioritize the City of Sarasota’s infrastructure assets with the greatest vulnerabilities to the four climate threats evaluated by the study. The vulnerability and risk assessments prioritized 56 infrastructure assets (out of 219 evaluated) that were considered most critical to bolstering the City’s resiliency to climate change. 24 additional infrastructure assets not initially rated as high risk and vulnerability were prioritized due to site-specific conditions and local institutional knowledge. This discussion will provide the step-by-step methodology utilized in this study with a specific emphasis on the application and use of GIS technologies that aided in building a long-term strategic plan for climate resilience for the City of Sarasota.

25 April


Allison Conner

Program Scientist
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Habitat Restoration Needs Project

Coauthors: J. Hecker, C. Warn, D. Robison, B. Solomon

The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) works to protect and restore water resources, wildlife habitat and the natural environment in a 4,700 square mile watershed, covering all or parts of eight counties. The watershed includes the Myakka, Peace, tidal Caloosahatchee, as well as Estero Rivers. It also encompasses the tributaries and estuaries of Dona/Roberts Bay, Lemon Bay, Gasparilla Sound/Cape Haze, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, San Carlos Bay and Estero Bay. The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program contracted Environmental Science Associates (ESA) on a project to identify and update Habitat Restoration Needs (HRN). The HRN Plan developed by this project will be used to guide habitat conservation, sustainability, resiliency and connectivity throughout the CHNEP study area. The HRN Plan will help the CHNEP to: a) refine the habitat restoration vision for the next 50 years; b) define the CHNEP habitat restoration goals for the next 20 years; c) identify habitat restoration, conservation and land acquisition priorities to reach the habitat vision and goals, and d) develop a strategy for easy and regular updates to the CHNEP Habitat Restoration Needs Plan. The Project consisted of multiple GIS-based tasks and analysis. Task 1 of the Project consisted of using GIS tools to calculate habitat gains and losses and percent habitat change for each sub-basin when comparing land use over time. The Project team then compared habitat gains/losses and percent change within each sub-basin to the whole of the CHNEP watershed looking for significant gain/loss trends. The team used a 15% or greater change threshold to determine significance with respect to the percent habitat gains/losses within the whole of the CHNEP watershed as well as within each sub-basin. The team identified rare/unique habitats within the CHNEP watershed, focusing on those that were in the greatest decline. During these Task 1 analyses, the Team also looked for habitat mapping anomalies within the data in an effort to determine whether there were truly habitat gains/losses within the CHNEP watershed, or just habitat gains/losses resulting from the use of different FLUCCS codes over time by different agency analysts. As part of Task 3, the Project team utilized GIS analyses in the development of a model for calculating the habitat restoration and goals for each habitat type and sub-basin. With this model, the team is currently working with the CHNEP Habitat Conservation Subcommittee to develop goals for restoring coastal, wetland, and upland habitats for the CHNEP Study Area and for each sub-basin over the next 20 years, including consideration of non-restorable areas and potential future impacts of climate change, sea level rise, development patterns, and other anthropogenic influences.

23 April

24 April


Cortney Cortez

The Balmoral Group
Property Appraisal Data for Detection of Agricultural Land Use Change in Florida

The dynamic nature of land cover results in monitoring and modeling challenges where current land cover information is needed. Spatial datasets used for agricultural water supply planning in Florida are dependent on having current representation of agricultural lands. The Balmoral Group has developed spatial data analysis methods to merge multiple spatial datasets to identify land use changes to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ statewide Agricultural Lands Geodatabase. through the Florida Department of Revenue’s extensive parcel database. An innovative implementation of the Florida Department of Revenue’s extensive parcel database was used to refine agricultural land cover changes on an annual update cycle. R routines and Model Builder were used to efficiently handle formatting of processing of large data. Decision rules were developed to streamline how land cover changes were made and to avoid misclassification. The resulting dataset of Florida’s agricultural lands is updated annually using methods that allow for statewide consistency in merging multiple spatial datasets. This dataset has important applications for regional water supply planning and nutrient management initiatives.

23 April

24 April


Wesley Daniel

research scientist
Applications of the 2015 National Assessment of Stream Fish Habitats: Conserving Aquatic Habitats and the Fishes They Support from Current and Future Threats

Coauthors: D. M. Infante, P. Fuller

A goal of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) is to assess the condition of the Nation’s fish habitats to identify threats to fishes and opportunities for their conservation. In 2015, the second national assessment was completed, resulting in a continuous picture of habitat condition for all streams of the contiguous US based on stream fish responses to anthropogenic landscape stressors. Assessment results offer an unprecedented view of the condition of and limits to fish habitats across the US and provide a basis for comparing fish habitat condition on a national scale. Results also provide spatially-explicit information on impacts of different anthropogenic stressors to various groups of fishes as well as how those impacts vary across large regions. Our presentation highlights the national spatial data sets compiled and used in assessment as well as assessment results. We will also demonstrate how assessment outcomes are being used alone or in combination with other spatial information to enhance efforts to conserve stream fishes. Additionally, we will demonstrate a national application combining results with a characterization of nonindigenous aquatic species provided by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program (www.nas.er.usgs.gov). Our large-scale view of condition of and limits to stream fish habitats provides unprecedented information to more efficiently conserve aquatic habitats and fishes they support from current and future threats.

24 April


Christopher DeRolph

Geospatial Scientist
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Predicting Wetland Distributions Using Publicly-Available USGS 3DEP LiDAR Data and USDA NAIP Imagery

Wetlands serve many valuable functions, but are not well-mapped at local scales where many resource management decisions are made. As LiDAR data is increasingly acquired and made publicly available by local, state, and federal agencies, high resolution wetlands mapping at local or regional scales has become less costly and more feasible. A machine learning approach is presented that uses numerous field-delineated wetland locations in combination with LiDAR-derived terrain derivatives and NAIP-derived vegetation indices to predict probability of occurrence of wetlands across the 33,000 acre federally-owned Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). A very strong model fit was achieved, resulting in a valuable decision-support map of wetlands probability on the ORR. This map can benefit ORR resource managers in monitoring and researching wetland habitat and wetland species, planning for mitigation needs, evaluating impact alternatives, identifying potential mitigation sites, and informing decisions on hydrology issues encountered in road construction and maintenance.

23 April

24 April


Ben DeVries

Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland
Identifying Synergies and Trade-Offs Between Optical and Radar Satellite Data in Monitoring Wetland Inundation Dynamics

Coauthors: C-Q. Huang, W. Huang, M.W. Lang, J.W. Jones, I.F. Creed, M.L. Carroll

The role of wetlands in Earth system processes is determined to a large degree by inundation dynamics. Remote sensing data and methods are increasingly being used in conjunction with field measurements and models to characterize these dynamics, with medium-resolution optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors playing a key role in mapping and monitoring complex wetlandscapes. Here, we present a suite of inundation detection algorithms developed for the Landsat, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite constellations. We show that there are trade-offs between optical and SAR based methods in monitoring wetland inundation dynamics. On the one hand, optical data from the Landsat and Sentinel-2 constellations allow for finer-resolution mapping of inundation features via sub-pixel unmixing algorithms giving rise to better representation of small but biogeochemically important wetlands. On the other hand, optical images are frequently cloud-obscured, resulting in an irregular time-series and the inability to map critical events (e.g., peak floods), while SAR satellite sensors can provide imagery in nearly all weather conditions. Using historical optical data to train surface water classifiers, we show that while wetlands can be mapped efficiently using Sentinel-1 SAR imagery, generating regular estimates of inundation dynamics over time, complex backscatter signatures and noise due to SAR speckle present challenges to mapping inundation in wetlandscapes. We also show that fusion of optical and SAR inundation estimates may be necessary to reliably capture rapid inundation dynamics. Our findings suggest that integration of optical and SAR data is necessary to produce consistent, reliable estimates of inundation dynamics in wetlandscapes. Improving multi-source inundation algorithms will be an important step in facilitating the optimal use of data from upcoming Earth observation missions, such as the follow-on Landsat-9 and -10 missions, the NASA-ISRO SAR mission (NISAR) and the Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM), in wetland research. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

23 April

24 April


Thomas Dewald

OW NHD-NHDPlus Coordinator
Working Down the Pyramid with NHDPlus

The ever-growing NHDPlus user community has produced a rich collection of innovative applications over the past decade. Most of this work to date has been performed by GIS experts employing more advanced technologies. Envision a pyramid where this relatively small number of GIS experts are at the top and as you work down the pyramid the technologies become simpler and more accessible to larger numbers of more infrequent or casual users. Said differently, the height of the pyramid represents the level of expertise and complexity of technologies, which decreases as you move from top to bottom, while the width of the pyramid represents the number of users, which increases as you work down the pyramid. This presentation will touch on several new noteworthy advanced NHDPlus applications and will also showcase a number of newer, simpler, more accessible NHDPlus-based data, tools and services, including those that leverage the Open Water Data Initiative’s Network Linked Data Index.

What's New with NHDPlus?

Coauthor: A.Rea

Setting the stage for the NHDPlus sessions and presentations to follow during the conference, this introductory presentation will provide a brief overview of what’s been happening in the NHDPlus community during the past two years since we gathered in Sacramento, CA. From an applications perspective, there’s been substantial progress in both sophisticated advanced and simpler tools-services … ranging from the NOAA/NWS National Water Model to the Open Water Data Initiative’s Network Linked Data Index and the enhanced Watershed Report now featuring the StreamCat library of landscape attributes. There is also a growing collection of easy to use Web-based tools and services. More extensive training resources and user documentation are now available through the web as well. And, finally, the production of a high resolution NHDPlus, that will enable more and different applications, continues to progress across the country. Strategies for migrating applications from medium resolution to high resolution NHDPlus will be introduced. The final three presentations of this session showcase the underlying, foundational capabilities and benefits that NHDPlus provides to both developers and end users, including network traversal, search and modeling.

23 April

24 April


Dean Djokic

Senior Consultant
Arc Hydro: A Library of Free and Open Source GIS Tools for Water Resources Analyses

Arc Hydro is a collection of freely available geodatabase design, workflows, documentation, and tools widely used in the GIS community. While based on Esri ArcGIS platform, Arc Hydro artefacts are freely available to the broad user community. Initially developed in cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin and released in 2002, Arc Hydro tools have been further maintained and developed by the Water Resources Team at Esri. From the initial 30 tools, the library has grown to over 300 tools today and continues to grow over many generations of the underlying core operating system, development language, and GIS updates. This presentation will briefly discuss the history of Arc Hydro and its development, maintenance, and dissemination principles. It will then focus on lessons leaned over the 15 year span of development and maintenance and how the community needs have provided the focus and have driven the expansion of the library.

25 April

Dean Djokic - Djokic32.pdf Download Link

Elizabeth Dost

Mitigation Resources LLC
Fox Branch Wetland Mitigation Bank - An Integrated Approach

Co-Presenters: Frank McKinnie and Elizabeth Dost

The Fox Branch flow way is located in northwestern Polk County, FL. Land use within the watershed primarily consists of wetland systems, pine flatwoods and pastureland. The mitigation bank and overall study area along Fox Branch are approximately 1,076 acres and 5,993 acres, respectively. Several anthropogenic modifications to the drainage system have occurred throughout the study area. Alterations to the drainage along the portion of the Fox Branch within the project site includes re-routing/short circuiting the historic flow via man-made ditching and lowering the historic channel bed to reduce the onsite residence time of the surface water. These activities created cast-aside artificial berms which prevent lateral flow along the ditches reducing the available floodplain storage compared to historical conditions. Various isolated wetland systems have also been ditched to increase the pasture and grazing lands available for cattle operations. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the proposed construction activities to return the project site to a more historic/natural condition benefitting water quality as well as the flora and fauna of the wetland system. The proposed construction activities include a series of ditch blocks, select berm removals and low water crossings as part of the wetland restoration. All construction activities are proposed to minimize the construction footprint within the project site. The project tasks included base data collection, model development, existing conditions calibration/verification analysis and proposed conditions analysis. The analyses were conducted using an integrated surface water/groundwater modeling approach. The calibration/verification analysis was based on onsite data collected from February 2016 to April 2017.

24 April


Ariel Doumbouya

US Geological Survey
NHDPlus High Resolution Value Added Attributes

The NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR) is a scalable geospatial hydrography framework built from the high resolution National Hydrography Dataset, the Watershed Boundary Dataset, and elevation data, primarily ⅓ arc-second 3D Elevation Program data. The NHDPlus HR allows for modeling and assessment at a local, neighborhood level, while nesting seamlessly into the national context. Similar to the medium resolution NHDPlus version 2 (NHD Plus V2), the NHDPlus HR is comprised of a network of stream reaches, elevation-based catchment areas, flow surfaces, and value-added attributes (VAAs) that enhance stream network navigation, analysis, and data display. NHDPlus HR VAAs provide attributes such as stream flow, velocity, temperature and precipitation distributions, and cumulative drainage areas. NHDPlus HR VAAs also allow the selection of more generalized stream networks, as well as upstream or downstream navigation. Complementing and enhancing the various spatial datasets, the NHDPlus HR VAAs provides greater detail than the NHDPlus V2, thereby supporting national, regional, or local analysis and modeling, while retaining the spatial accuracy of the highest-resolution, nationally available datasets.

25 April

Ariel Doumbouya - NHDPlus HR VAAs_Doumbouya27.pdf Download Link

Daniel Dourte

The Balmoral Group
Using Remote Sensing to Quantify Ecosystem Services for Improved Coastal Decision Making – Gulf Coast Workshops

Coauthors: V. Seidel, C. Diamond

Through a series of workshops, in partnership with NASA and The Nature Conservancy, The Balmoral Group is working to find the best approaches for using Earth Observations to inform ecosystem service assessments. Workshops are being held in each of the five Gulf Coast states with the objectives of 1) Exploring remote sensing data that can be used to quantify ecosystem services and values, 2) Demonstrating tools and models available for utilizing remotely sensed data and assessing Ecosystem Services, 3) Identifying opportunities for using Ecosystem Service information to improve Gulf restoration and coastal management, and 4) Identifying data gaps and needs associated with the use of remotely sensed data. The theory and practice of ecosystem service assessment and valuation have matured considerably in the last decade. While there is still plenty of diversity in the data sources and models used for ecosystem service assessment and valuation, the standards and recommended frameworks that have emerged recently can provide practitioners with refined choices that align with their goals for ecosystem service assessment. The goals of an ecosystem service assessment will generally define the spatial scale; for example, if the goal is to use ecosystem service information to develop a coastal management plan for a large region, then it is likely that spatial ecosystem service assessment will be required. Earth Observations provide a particularly important data source to facilitate the ecosystem service modeling required for mapping ecosystem services. While there are numerous Earth Observation possibilities or combinations of sensors and algorithms, the measures of land cover, topography, vegetation (NDVI, ENVI, LAI), ocean color (Chl-a, CDOM), and temperature/rainfall are the most widely use Earth Observation products for ecosystem service assessment. Importantly, the focus of our work is on application of Earth Observations to practical tasks of resource management, goal-setting and decision-making. This presentation will include: 1) the fundamentals of ecosystem service assessment and valuation, 2) the current status of the science of ecosystem service mapping in general, 3) the current status of Earth Observations used in ecosystem service mapping, 4) several examples of coastal ecosystem service assessments and valuation, and 5) the findings from surveys and workshops with coastal resource managers.

24 April

Daniel Dourte - Dourte17.pdf Download Link

Jessie Doyle

Graduate Student
Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Arctic Freshwater Landscapes Analyzed Using Remote Sensing Data and Landscape Watershed Analysis

Coauthor: J. R. Olson

The lack of location data of threatened or endangered fish species can make the conservation of freshwater biodiversity difficult for land managers such as the Bureau of Land Management. This is seen especially in remote places such as the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) on the Alaskan Northern Slope. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are one way to predict species distributions. To apply SDMs across entire landscapes we need data characterizing spatial and temporal variation in the environment for all watersheds. As data cannot be effectively collected on the ground due to the large extent and remoteness of the NPR-A, remote sensing offers a way of characterizing the environment. We examine spatial and temporal variation for the North Slope of Alaska that can predict fish distributions and producing maps that show the probability of occurrence for certain fish species. To apply SDMs across entire landscapes, we adapted a process of accumulating watershed environmental data developed by the EPA for the contiguous US (StreamCat). StreamCat was designed for contiguous US (Hill et al. 2016), not specifically for the North Slope of Alaska, so steps had to be taken to adapt or “hack” it for use in Alaska. To characterize watershed environments, we used Earth Observations (i.e., remotely sensed measurements collected using aerial Synthetic Aperture Radar, and both MODIS, and LandSat satellites) of water vapor, temperature, and vegetation and other spatial data. The remote sensing data and the StreamCat process allowed us to measure spatial and temporal environmental variability. We saw several interesting patterns of inter-year & spatial patterns. An example of which would be land surface temperatures were warmer at lower latitudes in higher elevation than at higher latitudes. StreamCat watershed data showed the effects of stream source (foothills vs. coastal plain) on local environments, with coastal plain rivers being colder than ones originating in foothills. Determining the distribution of fish species of threatened or endangered status will help land managers know where the impacts or climate change or oil drilling could create the most damage in these artic watersheds. This is just one step in understanding the artic freshwater landscape of the Northern Slope.

24 April

Jessie Doyle - DoyleJessie11.pdf Download Link

Kai Duan

University of Minnesota
Implications of Upstream Flow Availability for Surface Water Supply in the U.S.

Coauthors: G. Sun, P. Caldwell, S. McNulty, Y. Zhang, P. Bolstad

Although it is well established that the availability of upstream flow (AUF) affects downstream water supply, its significance has not been rigorously categorized and quantified at fine resolutions. This study aims to fill this gap by providing a nationwide inventory of AUF and local water resource, and assessing their roles in securing water supply across the 2,099 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code watersheds in the conterminous United States (CONUS). We investigated the effects of river hydraulic connectivity, climate variability, and water withdrawal and consumption on water availability and water stress (ratio of demand to supply) in the past three decades (i.e., 1981-2010). The results show that 12% of the CONUS land relied on AUF for adequate freshwater supply, while local water alone was sufficient to meet the demand in another 74% area. The remaining 14% highly stressed area was mostly found in headwater areas or watersheds that were isolated from other basins, where stress levels were more sensitive to climate variability. Although the constantly changing water demand was the primary cause of escalating/diminishing stress, AUF variation could be an important driver in the arid south and southwest. This research contributes to better understanding of the significance of upstream-downstream water nexus in regional water availability, and this becomes more crucial under a changing climate and with intensified human activities.

25 April


Elizabeth Ducey

Booz Allen Hamilton
3D Web-Mapping Application for Analysis and Visualization of Water Data

Coauthors: C. Willoughby, R. Pinkham

GIS has come along way and with it, it has brought new tools and technologies. There are many web-based applications available for users to visualize and download water data and use it within a GIS application. However, obtaining the right data, the most up-to-date data, and keeping it updated, is time consuming and overbearing of our resources. For many agencies, having access to the correct and accurate data in a web-based visual application is ideal. They would not need an individual GIS desktop application to be able to visualize and analyze their data overlain with other water data. This application would provide finger-tip access to real-time decision-making information. It would provide access to important datasets to help with concepts like: NEPA, environmental compliance, site suitability, and climate change, to name a few. And the data would be visualized in 3D. This innovative solution could help agencies better visualize and analyze their assets and water-based data to be better informed and stay up-to-date on the latest issues, for a more thorough web-based GIS solution.

24 April


Stephanie Dunham

Principal Water Resources Engineer
Collective Water Resource
Linking Stormwater Runoff and Dynamic Groundwater Response to Design Resilient Stormwater Infrastructure

Coauthors: R. Petrica, L. Medina

In 2016, the City of Fort Lauderdale initiated a holistic and future-focused Stormwater Master Plan to address chronic flooding and other stormwater management issues. The City is composed of ten individual watersheds ranging in size from approximately 2,100 to 10,500 acres characterized by urban development, low-lying topography and intersected by numerous canals and rivers. This combination, along with a shallow, porous aquifer; aging and undersized stormwater infrastructure; sea level rise; and seasonal high intensity storm events, exacerbates local flooding. The City’s Stormwater Master Plan has been developed to predict how the existing and proposed stormwater system operates under current and potential future climatological conditions and to design stormwater solutions that will strengthen the City’s resilience. Recognizing the significant extent of flat topography intersected with the 115 miles of interconnected canals in the City, a combination of one-dimensional and two-dimensional surface water modeling was applied. This, integrated with groundwater modeling of the surficial aquifer, was developed for each of the City’s watersheds using Interconnected Pond and Routing model, version 4 (ICPR4). Within southeast Florida, groundwater levels are closely related to surface water levels, thus it was necessary to account for this interaction within the City’s model. Additionally, the effects of rising sea levels and associated effect of reduced soil storage on runoff was evaluated for six, potential tidal conditions. This effort is one of the largest, urban stormwater models with two-dimensional coverage ever assembled in South Florida – particularly when one considers the complexity of the area’s hydrology, stormwater management system, and network of canals. This presentation dives into the aspects of (1) developing the integrated, surface-groundwater model including hydrogeologic parameterizations for current as well as six, potential future conditions; (2) evaluating flood protection level of service offered by the City’s current stormwater system and proposed neighborhood improvements, including French drains and drainage wells; and (3) lessons our team learned along the way.

24 April


Jessica Eisma

Graduate student
Purdue University
The Impact of Small-Scale Dams on Water Storage in Kenya

Coauthor: V. Merwade

Sand dams are an ancient technology that have gained popularity across East Africa in recent years, largely due to the efforts of non-governmental organizations. A sand dam consists of a concrete wall built across an impermeable riverbed behind which sand is collected over a series of rainy seasons, creating a subsurface water reservoir. Stored thus, the water is filtered by the sand particles and protected from evaporation. There are currently over 1500 sand dams serving rural communities in south-eastern Kenya. This study uses remote sensing to investigate the impact of these structures on water storage. The relationship between sand dams and water storage was modeled using a binary sand dam factor, climate data from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network Land Data Assimilation System, and water storage data measured by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) twin satellites. The analysis revealed that current sand dam regions did not store significantly more water than other nearby regions before the recent surge in dam construction. However, the sand dam regions are now storing 12% more water than nearby regions without sand dams. In semi-arid regions that have little access to water during the long dry seasons, such as south-eastern Kenya, the additional stored water has a positive impact on both the food and water security of the region’s inhabitants. Also, significantly, this study shows that GRACE data can be used effectively to study small-scale, regional changes in water storage.

25 April


Steve Elgie

KISTERS North America, Inc.
New Data Portal for Global Environmental Monitoring

Coauthors: J. Proche, F. Schlaeger, S. Fuest

New Data Web Portal for Global Environmental Monitoring The United Nations Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme is dedicated to providing environmental water quality data (sample results and continuously measured data) of the highest quality, integrity, accessibility and interoperability. This data is provided to the public via the GEMStat website to be used in water assessments and capacity building initiatives. The water quality data currently includes more than 3,000 stations, over 100 parameters, almost four million sample records and is submitted to GEMStat by national focal points of governmental agencies. In March 2014 the hosting of the GEMStat component was taken over by the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (FIH). The FIH completely redesigned the data storage and management component as well as the representation of data, including the data download portal. The data storage, management and analysis system was replaced by the KISTERS water quality module KiWQM. This module was specifically designed to manage, validate and analyse discrete sampling data along with continuously measured real time sensor data. As KiWQM is fully integrated into the WISKI system it takes advantage of features such as flexible data structuring, powerful calculations, scripting and graphing functionalities. The KISTERS Web Interoperability Solution (KiWIS) provides environmental monitoring data to the public and allow specialists to easily download the data as required. The KiWIS solution is a single framework for multiple web service types and serves several data sources at one time such as HTTP GET/POST KVP services (KiQS, SOS1/2) and SOAP (WaterOneFlow, SOS2). The KiWIS supports user authentication and authorization for members to view and download their data but restricts guest users from accessing. In addition to powerful web services, KiWIS provides WISKI data for specific web widgets such as creating dynamic time series graphs or displaying descriptive station metadata. The GEMS portal will be set up by applying this functionality and overlaying with mapping capabilities. The project for redesigning the new GEMStat portal started in September 2015. The final portal was presented during the 10th annual National Water Quality Monitoring Conference.

24 April

Steve Elgie - Elgie24.pdf Download Link

Mark Ellard

Geosyntec Consultants
Meeting the Challenge of Watershed GIS Data Overload with a Web-based Toolset

Coauthors: K. Nowell, J. Rosen

The Orange County Public Works Stormwater Management Division undergoing a program of updating their watershed information throughout the County. This information includes the development of a vast array of GIS based data that are stored in various GIS geodatabases along with related reference documents. This includes stormwater modeling data, flood levels, topographical information, drainage infrastructure, plans, as-builts, etc. The volume of material generated presents a challenge for staff to review and utilize for daily tasks as GIS resources are limited. As a result, they desired a web browser based watershed data viewer interface from which a large number of staff can view and interact with the generated watershed data without expensive GIS licenses. Also, they desired the ability to use specialized tools within the framework of the web browser viewer that query and process the data to meet common division workflow and task needs. Based on the foregoing, Geosyntec developed tools that can be used in a nonproprietary web-based interface for viewing the watershed data. These tools would be based on the County’s Internet Explorer based desktop and mobile browser resources, and be compatible with the County’s current Information Systems and Services (ISS) Division infrastructure. Specific tools were developed which work with the watershed data within the web viewer system to produce information useful to daily division work-flows. This include two tools initially, generation of infrastructure fact sheets and visualization of flood modeling results, with other tools developed as needed for the County under future scopes of work. Incorporation of a vast database of survey data was also accomplished including associated hyperlinked photos, videos, and field notes. Notable accomplishments included Geosyntec’s development of sophisticated query tools to focus on primary data associated with infrastructure, while maintaining access to a full set of stored attributes. Model results visualization included storm dependent stage and flow data associated with individual hydrological / hydraulic model components (nodes/junctions, reaches/links).

24 April


Joel Encinas

US Forest Service
Exploring the Importance of National Forests and Grasslands to Drinking Water through GIS Analysis

Coauthor: K. Mott Lacroix

Since the passage of the Organic Act in 1897 that set aside forests in part to “secure favorable conditions of water flow,” the connection between the Nation’s forests and drinking water supply has been recognized. Coarse analysis of this connection has allowed the U.S. Forest Service to describe this relationship with statements such as: 1 in 5 Americans relies on water supplies generated on the national forests and grasslands or that 33% of the water supply in the West is derived from Forest Service-managed lands. A more detailed understanding of the connections between these lands and drinking water supply could help inform land management planning, work to develop watershed investment partnerships, and outreach on the importance of national forests and grasslands. Access to spatial data on the location of surface water intakes, well locations, and source water protection areas for intakes and wells is limited due to national security concerns, which has heretofore prevented a more detailed analysis. However, a recent collaborative effort between the Forest Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has enabled analysis of the relationship between water systems and Forest Service lands. The EPA, who maintains drinking water data, has produced a geospatial dataset with the point data summarized at a scale large enough to remove sensitivity but small enough to be suitable for Forest Service management activities. The Forest Service is now taking these data and combining them with our existing datasets to help focus management activities and partnerships. This presentation will demonstrate how cartographic production using Data Driven Pages for ArcGIS 10.3.1 can be used to design a map book at management-relevant scales that feature enterprise datasets from the Forest Service GIS. In addition, a demo will feature more complex spatial analysis of these data utilizing spatial tools to create products that can be used to inform forest management and raise awareness of the importance of forested watersheds.

25 April


Glenn Fernandez

Environmental Engineer
GIS Tools for Hydrology and Water Quality Data Analysis

US EPA Region 4 developed deskstop GIS-based tools using open source codes for watershed hydrology and water quality data analysis, synthesis and visualization. The tools were developed for use by the Region 4 states in CWA programmatic activities. An overview of the following tools will be presented: Watershed Index Online (WSIO), Water Quality Monitoring Site Characterization Tool, Water Quality Station/Regional Trend Analysis Tool, Watershed Characterization System Tool, Indicator of Hydrologic Condition Tool, Low Flow Frequency Analysis Tool and Watershed Model Builder Plugin in Basins. All tools are GIS-based using Dotspatial, uses EPA and USGS web services and R and MathNumerics for statistical analysis.

24 April


Sandra Fox

Environmental Scientist
St Johns River Water Mgmt Dist
Exploring Options: Communicating Science and Technology

Panelists: • Dr. Richard Tankersley, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC • Dr. Debra Hydorn, Professor, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA • Steve Kopp, ESRI Additional Panelists: • Steve Bourne, Atkins Global • Pete Singhofen, Streamline Technologies, Inc • Brenda Bateman, AWRA President Panel Session 

As the complexity of science and technology mushrooms, the solution is not simply to convey more information: content needs to be communicated in ways that enhance comprehension and aid in identifying the critical or actionable points. The purpose of this session is to explore three approaches as they pertain to technology and water resources. Dr. Richard Tankersley, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC has been leading “Presentation Boot Camps” that he developed under a National Science Foundation Graduate Teaching Fellowship. The Boot Camps are a fun and inspirational approach to banish boring presentations while learning to communicate messages more clearly and effectively with a lasting impact on the audience. Dr. Debra Hydorn is a professor of mathematics at Mary Washington University in Virginia, specializing in environmental statistics; she teaches seminars and workshops in developing Infographics. These graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge are intended to present information quickly and clearly. And what session on communication for this conference would be complete without Story Maps? The challenge for us is