Survey Manual

120.10 – Office of the Associate Director for Water Resources

Date: 2/20/2020

OPR:  Office of Water Resources

Instructions:  This Survey Manual (SM) chapter release updates the August 25, 2015 issuance of this SM chapter. 

1.  General Functions.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Office of the Associate Director for Water Resources, provides executive leadership to ensure the quality and scientific integrity of USGS investigations of the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, uses, and movement of surface and ground waters.  These investigations allow the USGS to develop and disseminate scientific knowledge and understanding of the Nation’s water resources.  Activities include data collection, resource assessment, research, modeling, and coordination of the activities of numerous other entities involved in water resources research, data acquisition, or information transfer.  These activities are carried out through specific Federal programs or in cooperation with State and local governments or other Federal agencies. 

2.  Associate Director for Water Resources.  The Associate Director exercises the authority delegated by the USGS Director to provide leadership and nationwide guidance for the establishment of water resources programs and priorities and for the scientific efficacy of all Bureau activities in the hydrologic discipline.  The Associate Director provides executive direction and oversight to ensure effective and efficient program planning, management, and execution of the Bureau’s nationwide water resources programs, including the development of methods and tools, research, and quality assurance.  Responsibilities for these functions are shared with a Deputy Associate Director.  The Associate Director and Deputy Associate Director are responsible for all aspects of the Water Resources Mission Area, which includes the following elements:

A.  Office of the Associate Director.  The Office of the Associate Director is responsible for all aspects of executive administration of the Water Resources Mission Area, including strategic, financial, and program management.  The staff is responsible for setting the strategic science direction for the Bureau’s nationwide water resources programs, and they serve as Bureau water leads for Federal coordination between agencies.  The Office of the Associate Director includes:

(1)  Office of Budget.  The Office of Budget serves as a liaison to the Bureau’s Office of Budget, Planning and Integration.  The staff is responsible for coordinating Water Resources Mission Area interaction with the USGS Office of Budget, Planning and Integration on matters involving budget formulation and performance reporting, and providing management and oversight for all Water Resources Mission Area budget execution activities.

(2)  Office of Quality Assurance.  The Office of Quality Assurance is responsible for quality assurance of water projects, investigations, and data-collection activities throughout the Bureau’s nationwide water resources programs.  The staff is responsible for coordinating development and maintenance of technical guidelines and policy; providing technical support to Programs, Divisions, and Science Centers; identifying risk and providing guidance for addressing risk; coordinating technical reviews of investigative and data projects; and fulfilling Freedom of Information Act requests. 

(3)  Chief of Staff.  The Chief of Staff is responsible for managing the day-to-day logistics of the Water Resources Mission Area and supporting the Associate Director; executing conference planning for the Water Resources Mission Area; serving as a liaison to the USGS Office of Communications and Publishing, the USGS Director’s Office, and the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science; serving as the principal focal point for diversity and equal opportunity; serving as a focal point for international activities; and overseeing specific communications functions.

(4)  Senior Science Advisor.  The senior science advisor to the Associate Director is responsible for performing a wide range of assignments to facilitate program planning, coordination, and execution at the executive level.  The senior science advisor is also responsible for developing comprehensive training strategies to support emerging science priorities and long-term workforce development; building and maintaining strong collaborative efforts with other Mission Areas, Regions, Science Centers, and external partners; conducting special analyses on subjects such as information technology, personnel, programmatic data, and budget; and serving as a liaison for science and operational program initiatives across the Bureau.

(5)  Senior Policy Advisor.  The senior policy advisor to the Associate Director is responsible for performing a wide range of assignments to facilitate program planning, coordination, and execution at the executive level.  The senior policy advisor is also responsible for developing budgetary and communication policies to implement program goals nationwide which respond to public policy demands; planning strategic communication; building and maintaining strong collaborative efforts with other Mission Areas, Regions, Science Centers, and external partners; and leading cross-functional teams to develop scientific and operational approaches that address critical emerging needs.

(6)  Extreme Hydrologic Events Coordinator.  The Extreme Hydrologic Events Coordinator enhances the Bureau’s role in extreme hydrologic events including floods, droughts, and adverse or impaired water quality.  The Extreme Hydrologic Events Coordinator is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and plans for national rapid deployment observing systems to support water emergencies and hazards.  This includes working throughout the Bureau and with Federal partners to effectively safeguard lives, health, and property.

(7)  Delaware River Master.  The Delaware River Master is responsible for administering the provisions of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree in State of New Jersey v. State of New York and City of New York relating to yields, diversions, and releases in the Delaware River.  These provisions include conserving the waters of the river; compiling data on the water needs of the parties; checking and correlating streamflow measurements and records; observing, recording, and studying the effect of developments in the watershed on water supply and other uses; and making periodic reports to the Court.

B.  Office of Planning and Programming.  The Office of Planning and Programming provides leadership and guidance for the three budget programs in the Water Resources Mission Area. The Office of Planning and Programming is responsible for providing strategic and annual planning and integrating activities across Water Resources Mission Area budget programs.  Responsibilities for these functions are shared between the Director and the Deputy Director of the Office of Planning and Programming.  The three budget programs in the Water Resources Mission Area are:

(1)  Water Observing Systems Program.  The Water Observing Systems Program encompasses the Water Resources Mission Area’s objectives to collect, manage, and disseminate hydrologic information in real time, over the long term, and in a consistent manner.  This program includes activities such as the streamgaging network, the National Water Quality Network, the National Groundwater Monitoring Network, flood inundation mapping, and storm surge monitoring.  The program is also responsible for the support of information management functions that are vital to the dissemination of groundwater, streamflow, and water quality observational data. 

(2)  Water Resources Availability Program.  The Water Resources Availability Program encompasses the Water Resources Mission Area’s objectives to assess the current quantity, quality, and use of the Nation’s freshwater resources; evaluate how those have been changing over time; and forecast how they will change in the future.  This program also fulfills the goals stated in the SECURE Water Act (P.L. 111-11), Section 9508.  The Water Resources Availability Program synthesizes and reports information at the regional and national scales, with an emphasis on compiling and reporting the information in a way that is useful to states and others responsible for water management and natural resource issues.  This program is also responsible for the support of information management functions that are vital to the dissemination of water availability scientific information.

(3)  Water Resources Research Act Program.  The Water Resources Research Act Program provides an institutional mechanism for promoting State, regional, and national coordination of water resources research, training and information and technology transfer.  With its matching requirements, the program is also a key mechanism for promoting State investments in research and training.

C.  Office of the Chief Operating Officer.  The Office of the Chief Operating Officer provides leadership of the science and technical operations in the Water Resources Mission Area. Together with the Office of Planning and Programming, the Office of the Chief Operating Officer ensures that workplans are seamlessly integrated across programs, that high-impact decisions are corporately decided in decision-making councils, and that workplans are executed as formulated.  Responsibilities for these functions are shared between the Chief Operating Officer and the Deputy Chief Operating Officer.  The Office of the Chief Operating Officer is structured to emphasize and support an integrated approach to observing, understanding, predicting, and delivering water science to the Nation through enterprise capabilities and services.  The Office of the Chief Operating Officer includes:

(1)  Observing Systems Division.  The Observing Systems Division provides field support for all Water Resources Mission Area observing systems; conducts research and development on new sensor technologies and applications; plans and implements the next-generation integrated water observing system for the Water Resources Mission Area; and incorporates remote sensing into science and operations.

(2)  Laboratory and Analytical Services Division.  The Laboratory and Analytical Services Division provides integrated management of laboratories and laboratory services in the Water Resources Mission Area; ensures consistency, effective transition of new methods into production, and coordinated enterprise quality assurance and quality control practices; and develops unified strategies and policies to advance the scientific viability of Water Resources Mission Area laboratory capabilities and services.

(3)  Earth Systems Processes Division.  The Earth Systems Processes Division conducts disciplinary and interdisciplinary process studies, research, and development; ensures that core knowledge of hydrologic processes and process-oriented scientific expertise are well-balanced and maintained; and provides foundational scientific capacity to support projects in the Water Resources Mission Area.

(4)  Integrated Modeling and Prediction Division.  The Integrated Modeling and Predication Division provides integrated, interdisciplinary water modeling and prediction; ensures that modeling activities are coordinated with overarching Water Resources Mission Area priorities and adhere to enterprise cyberinfrastructure standards; and develops earth system modeling and prediction capabilities for use within the Water Resources Mission Area and the Bureau in support of interagency collaborative goals.

(5)  Integrated Information Dissemination Division.  The Integrated Information Dissemination Division develops and manages Web content, hydro-informatics applications, and decision-support systems; ensures that all Water Resources Mission Area Web content is consistent, up to date, clear, easily accessible, and in compliance with Bureau and Department of Interior policies; develops new intelligent applications for mining water data and content; and evaluates comprehensive real-time analytics of public access of Water Resources Mission Area information.

(6)  Project Management Office.  The Project Management Office develops and maintains an integrated project management framework for the Water Resources Mission Area and assists project managers in developing project management artifacts such as work schedules, milestones, and deliverables.

(7)  Enterprise Technology Office.  The Enterprise Technology Office provides management of all Water Resources Mission Area systems architectures, information technology infrastructure, and software support; serves as liaison to the Office of Enterprise Information and the Department of the Interior; ensures information technology security compliance; develops and implements unified cradle-to-grave architectural strategies to support integrated and interdisciplinary science.

 

/s/ Jim Reilly                                                                          February 20, 2020

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Jim Reilly                                                                                Date               

Director