# The Next Generation of Hydrography

Video Transcript

## Detailed Description

Topic: The Next Generation of Hydrography

Date: August 24, 2021

Presenters: Becci Anderson and Al Rea

The USGS is developing the 3D Hydrography Program (3DHP) as the surface water mapping component of the new 3D National Topography Model (3DNTM.) The 3DNTM is the next generation of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) and National Hydrography Datasets, and includes high-resolution elevation, inland bathymetry, hydrography derived from elevation, and connections to groundwater and engineered hydrologic systems. The 3DHP will provide critical data related to flood forecasting and response, agricultural planning, infrastructure design, fisheries and stream ecology research and management, water quality studies, and other emerging applications.

This presentation will provide an overview of 3DHP plans including scope and timelines for the emerging program.

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Location Taken: US

## Transcript

(Al Rea)
This is the USGS Hydrography Community Call. Becci, Are you ready to share your screen and get started or?

(Becci Anderson) So today Al and I are gonna talk about where we're going with our future in 3D. The 3D National Topography Model and the 3D Hydrography Program. We're really excited to be talking about this. We've been working for about the last nine months on a document encapsulating our ideas about where the National Hydrography data sets- kind of across the board are going. And, uh, it's it's been a lot of hard work and still in draft, but I think we've made a lot of progress and we're pretty excited about it and excited to share with you. So all of this for us starts with a new concept called the 3D National Topography Model, and this idea is really based in the fact that elevation shapes hydrography and hydrography shapes elevation. In that topography is defined by both of them. And a long time ago when when we were doing most of our primary mapping on topo maps, these two datasets, or these two pieces of information on the maps were much more integrated. They were more coincidently mapped, and as we moved to more digital products and GIS data, they started to diverge and now we are bringing them all back together again with this concept and. it's really key that these datasets fit together. The 3DNTM supports the 3D Nation vision of a continuous data surface from the depths of the oceans to the peaks of the mountains and 3D Nation is a concept that NOAA and USGS have been working on together, with NOAA focusing on ocean bathymetry and the USGS focusing on the terrestrial piece. These data will be foundational to initiatives like FEMA future flood risk data and risk rating 2.0, The national water model, Clean Water Act, the National Landslides Preparedness act. Also, we are focusing on how to provide the universal sharing of water information as a part of the Internet of water. Uh. We believe the 3DNTM will underpin a broad range of applications like flood risk management, hazards response and mitigation, infrastructure management, climate change science and many more. And we're also looking at enabling new and emerging applications like multiple vintages of change detection and water related applications where we're really moving from even the neighborhood kind of a level down to a street level because of the density, accuracy, and precision of these new data. There are four development tracks for 3DNTM. Uhm, topography. Within this context, UM. The I guess years ago we started focusing with 3DEP, 3D Elevation program, and The NHDPlus High Resolution on baseline datasets and so the first track is really focused on continuing with those until we complete them, and 3DEP has made a huge amount of progress on collecting lidar nationwide. The NHDPlusHR has been completed and a beta version for CONUS for the conterminous USA, and is in process in Alaska, and we're working on in CONUS Right now we're working on at the first update, I should say CONUS and the islands. Uhm. While we've been working on these baseline datasets were also working on piloting the integration of hydrography and elevation. So we're doing this both with deriving hydrography from elevation and really making the linkage between the hydrography data and elevation, but also looking at pilots for inland with imagery. And that is something the elevation group or 3DEP is focused more on. What we've started to work on now is designing and implementing the next generation of integrated data, and I'll talk more about that in a moment. Uhm, and the last track that we're really just dipping our toes into is researching and developing 3D data model. The question here is where can we go in the future with these two datasets? Where rather than or these two kind of large mapping programs where instead of having them separately but kind of integrated, we map them and keep them in a more common space, a more common model. We think you know this could really crack open and enable a huge number of new applications. So right now, while we're still working on completing the national baselines and piloting. What I'm going to talk about today is really focusing on calls for action for the 3DNTM in particular, the 3DNTM call for action, part one, 3D Hydrography Program. This document is currently in draft. We just are wrapping up the review with stakeholder groups for this document. Most of the reviews were back to back on the twentieth and the NHD WBD stewards reviews are due back on the 27th, so if you're in that group and you haven't sent them in, you have a couple more days. Uhm after that, we'll be working through all of those comments and then we'll have what we work through internally as a peer review. And then we'll go to publication at some point in the next couple of months. That's usually a long process at USGS, so I'm hoping this comes out of the goal is by the end of this calendar year. Might be just over into winter though of the next calendar year, but after we, you know, have focused on this. Call for Action part one. We are intending to do a Call for Action: Part Two that's looking at the next generation of 3DEP data, including elevation data collected at quality level at new quality levels, and integration with inland bathymetry. So why modernize NHD? Well, hydrography data are really essential to critical applications and we know through the hydrography and requirement Hydrography requirements and Benefits Study that was completed in twenty sixteen that the current program we work with with  1:24K  That provides about $538 Million in annual benefits to users. But if we were to implement a modernized 3D enabled hydrography program. We're looking at over$1 billion dollars in annual benefits, so with the current NHD approach, we're really looking at collaborative data management, and this has been really successful. So the NHD portfolio of datasets, which is the most comprehensive and current data of the nation's surface waters, has over 9.4 million miles of stream network mapped in it, and eight million water bodies over 130,000 nested hydralogic. Units that is a whole lot of data and we couldn't map that data we we would never have at USGS. The local knowledge to understand it all. If we didn't leverage or stewardship program which there are MOUs with 41 States and Washington DC. Having those stewards working on the data, updating the data engaged with us is really the only way that we can know what's going on on the ground in these places. But taking that approach has led to updates that aren't uniform, and that's a problem going forward. So some of the areas have never been updated. UM, sometimes there are, you know, more than forty years old when you look at the line work that was taken from the original to, you know, taken originally from the total mass and has never been updated. This has led to national consistency decreasing overtime. Also, as we've worked with groups, we have kind of rough specifications and rules about the way that the data are mapped, but we haven't been particularly stringent with some of the information which has LED, for example, attributes needed to be filled in slightly differently and depending on who's doing the update. If you look nationally at them. They are not consistent. There's also issues with connectivity and the NHD network and some lingering delineation issues in the WBD and these data don't align well with new 3DEP data, and we're really in a time right now where. Because of computing power and just kind of national approaches within the federal government, we're kind of at a moment where we can start utilizing large national datasets for big benefit. For example, with the national water model. It's really important that we're able to feed the geospatial network into the national water model. That's consistent so that when there are actually running the national water model on the geospatial framework, they're getting consistent results back out and there's a lot of other applications that are similar to that. But hydrography derived from Malibu elevation, offers a solution to this problem, which is really fantastic 'cause we are also in a moment in time where we're really able to come. Harness the compute power again to derive these data in a larger way than you know was possible twenty years ago. So 3D H, P. The aim is to provide national consistency while still meeting local needs. We're going to focus on standardizing hydrography to align vertically, horizontally and temporally with three app data. We're focused on building an infrastructure using that standard hydrography as the geospatial base to support the Internet of water in the sharing of water information. We're looking with 3D HP to develop a modernized data model in schema that supports uses from all the way from cartography and GIS to hydrologic modeling. Uhm? We are looking to include enhanced connections to other datasets that also depict facets of the hydrologic cycle, such as wetlands, groundwater, and engineering hydrologic systems. We are. Proposing to do this through data acquisition, a process that follows through that best practices including coordinated governance with 3DEP. So not not just completely joining all of our working groups with governance, but how can we coordinate across better? And also continuing to have a strong stewardship program where we can get our stewards can provide local knowledge on attributes and flag issues on the geometry without having to have such a heavy lift of mapping every single line. When we looked at the program when we sat down over the last nine months and talked through this, we came up with three scenarios that you look at the hydrography requirements and benefits. Studies seem to emerge from all of the data and let me tell you, there is a lot of data in that study. So if we kind of started with completion of national coverage and looked at, you know how could that move forward source data accuracy, improved data model, major advantages and challenges of these different scenarios? The first scenario is just our status quo. What if we stop with one to twenty four thousand data and we continue to have stewards map it in the same way that we do with about plus or minus forty foot or or twelve meter accuracy? Same old data model. When we looked at that, it had the lowest cost, but there were major needs unmet like most of what we learned in herbs that were needs basically, and we continue to have inconsistency overtime. And it actually grows over time. It continues to grow over time. The annual benefits that were found in this program were about five hundred and fifty eight million. If we kind of kept doing what we were doing. Then we looked at two more future looking scenarios, one deriving the hydrography from one meter, Q L two or better elevation, and that's three depth data. Or deriving from point five meter Q L one or better elevation data. And in either case, if we have all of the base data that we need already available, it would be about a nine year program to do that work. With the one meter DMS, we looked at a program that was around two meter accuracy and with the point five we looked at about one meter accuracy. Scenario two meets most needs. And by most I mean really close to a lot of them. Scenario three meets pretty much every single need that was documented. Scenario two requires significant increased investment, and I'll talk about that in. I think it's the next slide or the one after. But the benefits are high for our users over a billion dollars. Scenario three had the highest cost and obviously source data is not widely available. While we have been building out a Q L two or better program with 3DEP for many years now. There are some areas with Q one or better data, but it is nowhere near the coverage that we would need to kick off this program at least immediately, and you don't get that much more benefit really when you look at them. So for that reason, we've chosen scenario two. And so everything else we're going to describe throughout the rest of the slides are going to be a description of basically supporting scenario two. So probable costs. These are still really rough. That's the first thing I'm going to say, but it looks like right now about six hundred and seventy six million over nine years. Well, that seems like a really outstanding number to me. If we're bringing a billion dollars in benefits. Every single year, it seems like a pretty good cost benefit analysis, at least in my opinion. Uhm? The curve that you see here, we kind of kick off the program and then you see a steady curve of data acquisition, and that's where the costs are increasing. Uhm, we kind of start to level off and then in these last couple of years we've collected the data and we're just processing it out. This kind of medium blue color is almost entirely data acquisition as well as inspection costs. The other costs you see here are. The some of the other features those other hydrologic cycle features connecting to those better is the lightest flu. This blue line here is taking care of this data and we see the legacy program tailing off in this dark blue where we work our way through the NHD and WBD, completing out and update of NHD plus HR. That's what we're hoping to do. A wonderful update and then kind of retire those out as we stand up these new datasets. So like 3DEP, though 3DHP really depends on significant investments by partner organizations. And I'll talk about that more in just a moment. So building out the 3D hydrography program. So we're going to talk now about building out the program, building out the datasets, and building out the infrastructure. So the 3D HP program kind of format or approach will follow three depth and a lot of different ways. We plan to establish three DHP governance to develop and coordinate. Partnerships in acquisition plans, they'll will be modeled on the good work that three DEP has done, and building out partnerships and and acquisition. We're working right now to add 3D H P to the three depth broad agency announcement, so we're doing basically the background paperwork to get be a broad agency announcement ready for the 3D hydrography program, although. Until we have funding to fund the broad agency announcement, which you know allows partnerships between the UM, USGS or the federal government, and pretty much any other entity out there, state, local, federal, tribal, private. Until we have funding for that we we won't be moving forward with it, but we're trying to get the paperwork done now so we're ready if we get money. Also, contract acquisition of 3D HP data. We are focused on that being primarily through USGS geospatial products and services contracts, but we'd also allow for cooperative data acquisition, contributed data, and we've already been doing a lot of work on providing specifications to support a program like this. But we have. We will have a lot more specifications to do, but the new LDH specifications that came out. Will provide the kind of base for this. So this is not a perfect UM description of what what will happen in every single year. There's been a lot of movement in in these different targets for the years as we've been working forward and outlining this plan. But just to give you kind of a taste of the things that are on the list at a high level so. As I've just talked about governance and communications are really starting to kick that off even in in this year, but especially starting in twenty two we've been working on pilots for hydrography, updated using elevation data, but we are also I should. I should fill this N W I one. I think now this national wetlands inventory. All the way back, maybe to even twenty one, because there is there will be a pilot project going on in Alaska I think at some point between NHD data or elevation derived hydrography and wetlands mapping and we're really excited to work on that. An NHDPlus HR production completing that out and finishing out Alaska. That's probably going to tail out a little longer to working through specifications. And be a process and really getting data acquisition going up and then also setting up and this is really key on our side on the USGS side of things. The operations, the operating operational plan. Setting up new systems and structures and schemas. In order to support this as well as doing research and then we've already started working on the three DHP infrastructure we previously been calling this the national hydrography and infrastructure and infrastructure is an information infrastructure in an hour. Will talk a little bit more about that. But we've already started working on that and will continue to work on it out over time. A little bit about the roles. UM again, this is kind of emergent, but just to give you a feel for the fact that you know this is not something that USG has seized us. Going alone, federal partnership state and local partners, private sector and users are all going to be really important in this process. And in this program, whether it be, you know, the program itself or governance. Uh, the specifications stewardship applications. It's all really critical that this be a diverse program. Alright, I'm going to hand it over to Al now.