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Stewardship and Community

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), and NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR) are updated and maintained through a strong community of stewards and users.

The USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) is starting to implement the new 3D Hydrography Program (3DHP) in Fiscal Year 2023.  The 3DHP will significantly improve the level of detail, currency, and content of hydrography data by deriving updated stream networks and watersheds from high-quality 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) data.  3DHP will also improve the ability to track information about water as it moves through the hydrologic cycle.   

In order to successfully implement the 3DHP, the NGP plans to phase out active updates and maintenance of the current National Hydrography datasets which consist of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), and the NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR). The transition includes phasing out the current stewardship process and discontinuing edit access to the NHD and WBD. This change is a critical step to implement the 3DHP.     

The timeline to phase out active maintenance of the National Hydrography datasets is as follows: 

  • Markup corrections must be submitted by November 30, 2022 

  • Discontinue new editor training - target completion December 31, 2022  

  • Discontinue edit access to the NHD database - target completion December 31, 2022  

  • Discontinue WBD editing - target completion June 30, 2023  

  • Publish static versions of the NHD, WBD, and NHDPlus HR - target completion September 30, 2023 

Throughout FY23, updated versions of the NHD, WBD, and NHDPlus HR will continue to be released as changes are made.  At the end of September 2023, NGP will publish static versions of the NHD, WBD, and NHDPlus HR which will remain available for user applications as downloadable products and web services for several years while 3DHP is populated.  The HydroAdd tool will also continue to be maintained to address water resources information to the NHD and eventually to 3DHP. 

    • UE Hydrography Focus Area

      The User Engagement Hydrography Focus Area assists the National Geospatial Program (NGP) in acquiring data and understanding user needs in support of NGP management of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), and NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR). These geospatial datasets represent the surface water of the United States for mapping and modeling applications.

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      UE Hydrography Focus Area

      The User Engagement Hydrography Focus Area assists the National Geospatial Program (NGP) in acquiring data and understanding user needs in support of NGP management of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), and NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR). These geospatial datasets represent the surface water of the United States for mapping and modeling applications.

      Learn More

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