Letter from the Executive Director
JERAD BALES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CUAHSI
Dear Friends of Water Science,
With increasing demands and the ongoing long-term drought in the west, hydrologists are addressing water use in increasingly quantitative ways. The term water use is pretty vague and inexact, but the term typically is assumed to encompass any water transfer which is initiated by humans to and from the natural system, as well as consumption of the transferred water.
A recent study out of the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis (Powell Center) calls for an improvement in coordination of water use data collection efforts to substantially improve the Nation’s capacity to collect, model, and disseminate water-use data. Earlier, Sankarasubramanian et al., also identified the need for frequent updates of water use information to quickly identify effective strategies that control water-use efficiency, particularly in the face of ongoing water shortages which require quick response.
Analyses of water use data, such as that conducted by Sankarasubramanian et al., are particularly important for water managers who seek to implement strategies to improve water management. For example, Sankarasubramanian et al. found that water use efficiency was generally greater in the northern tier of states, in the higher income counties, and in urban counties. These findings suggest that there might be management actions that occur in the higher efficiency that might help improve efficiency in the lower efficiency regions.
One important contribution of the Powell Center team is a comprehensive summary of the organizations involved in water use collection, as well as issues associated with water use data as currently reported and collected. However, I highlight this paper because of the discussion of the Internet of Water’s Geoconnex project, which provides a system for connecting water data from different data providers via geographic location, provides Permanent Identifiers (PIDs) for Hydrologic features and is accessible via standardized API. Such a system allows data from the same location, collected by different entities, to be aggregated without a centralized database, thereby potentially improving access to water data for all. As a part of the Internet of Water team, CUAHSI is investigating development of a connection between HydoShare and Geoconnex, such that a user can attribute HydroShare resources with Geoconnex identifiers, thereby enabling more robust searches in HydroShare. Stay tuned.
Take care, Jerad
Voices From The Community
DR. TAO WEN
Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Syracuse University
Member, CUAHSI Education and Outreach Standing Committee
I first got involved with CUAHSI when I started managing the Shale Network database in 2017. This database is hosted on the CUAHSI HydroClient platform (https://data.cuahsi.org/) and contains water quality and quantity data for regions where shale gas is being exploited. Building upon the database and HydroClient, I co-developed and used educational modules in the annual Shale Network workshops (http://www.shalenetwork.org) to educate the public about the potential impact of oil and gas industry on surface water quality by partnering with a former CUAHSI staff, Liza Brazil. This was my first experience of online educational material development, which further inspired me to design another online educational module “Data Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences” the summer of 2020 as a Fellow of the NSF-funded HydroLearn project. The latter module cannot be materialized without the cloud computing and data storage resources provided by the CUAHSI HydroShare platform or the tremendous help I have received from CUAHSI Senior Research Hydrologist – Dr. Anthony Castronova.
In my research, I blend field/chemical laboratory-based approaches (e.g., noble gases, stable isotopes, and water chemistry) as well as data mining algorithms to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of water quantity and quality in the coupled natural and human systems. One of my ongoing projects is to develop computer algorithms to integrate different types of hydro datasets (e.g., stream flowlines, water quality data) and to automatically detect suspicious anthropogenic pollution events in stream networks. The R source codes of this algorithm have been released to GitHub and will be available as an R package soon. An RShiny app that demonstrates how this algorithm works is currently accessible via the Syracuse University server and will be published on the CUAHSI RShiny Gallery soon for broader dissemination to the hydrology community.
As an environmental data scientist, I see a great need in educating the next generation of geoscientists on data sciences. CUAHSI is in a unique position to serve the hydrology community and beyond to help achieve this goal. I have been using CUAHSI resources in my teaching, research, and community engagement activities. These types of experiences drive me to serve as a member of the CUAHSI Education and Outreach Standing Committee. In this role, I look forward to sharing my experience with other members of the CUAHSI community.
ONLINE, CUSTOMIZABLE TEACHING RESOURCES
Are you an instructor looking for online teaching resources to use in your upcoming classes? Check out HydroLearn (www.hydrolearn.org) where you can find 50+ modules that cover topics such as: floodplain analysis, hydrologic modeling and design, fluid mechanics and open channel modeling, hydrologic droughts and water plans, remote sensing applications in hydrology, evapotranspiration, snow and climate, groundwater chemistry and flow, energy-water-food nexus, pollutant and stream tracers, and hydroinformatics.
HydroLearn modules are based on authentic real-world problems and were built using constructive alignment between learning objectives, assessment and technical content. Each module was collaboratively developed by 2-3 instructors from 50+ universities around the world and was peer-reviewed by a group of subject matter and educational experts. Target audiences include both undergraduate and graduate students.
Besides its rich learning modules, HydroLearn offers tools for adapting existing modules to your own needs and setting, or developing your own module. HydroLearn includes tools for developing effective learning objectives aligned with ABET outcomes (for engineers) and encourages authentic data-driven learning activities that use data and modeling tools of the profession through integration of platforms such as Google Colab and CUAHSI HydroShare.
The HydroLearn platform was developed through an NSF project to improve Hydrology and Water Resources Education through sharing and developing active, data driven, authentic learning resources.
CUAHSI JOB BOARD
Have you visited the CUAHSI Job Board recently? We are always adding new opportunities to the list, such as the EIC position with JAWRA below. If you have a job you'd like posted, email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is seeking an editor-in-chief (EIC) for its flagship publication, the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Now in its 58th year, JAWRA is dedicated to publishing original papers characterized by their broad, multidisciplinary approach to water resource issues. JAWRA’s goal is to be the journal of choice for top authors writing multidisciplinary papers about water resources research, management, education, and policy. Interested applicants can learn more here.
HydroLang, an open-source and integrated community-driven computational web framework for hydrology and water resources research and education. HydroLang employs client-side web technologies and standards to carry out various routines aimed at acquiring, managing, transforming, analyzing, and visualizing hydrological datasets.
Read the full blog post here.
EQUITY IN STEM CONVENING
Last week, CUAHSI’s Deputy Director, Deanna McCay, and Education Program Manager, Veronica Sosa Gonzalez, attended the 2022 Equity in STEM Community Convening. Hosted by the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) and the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network initiative, the convening gathered researchers, practitioners, and change agents committed to creating equitable STEM spaces. At the convening, Drs. McCay and Sosa Gonzalez participated in an ACCESS+ workshop to explore areas of strength and development, identify critical drivers towards and barriers against change, and map out the next steps for DEI practices and policies within CUAHSI. For more information about the convening and ACCESS+, please visit the ACCESS+ website at accessplusstem.com.
CUAHSI VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY
For the sixth year in a row, CUAHSI will be hosting its Virtual University (CVU) this fall. More information, including what modules will be offered, is available on our website.
Eligible students* can sign up for courses by contacting CVU Faculty at their institution.
*Students at any of the institutions where faculty are teaching CVU this term are eligible to enroll in CVU this fall.
HydroShare Data Spotlight
Related to the water use and Geoconnex discussion earlier in this newsletter, please see this HydroShare resource that documents water service boundaries for 44,919 community water systems that deliver tap water to almost 307 million people (see also the latest contributions to this dataset).
Upcoming Events & Deadlines
DON'T MISS THESE OPPORTUNITIES