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Spring 2021 Newsletter

Science highlights included in this issue are: National Water Dashboard - Mobile Flood Tool, Water Well Drilling Records, Flood Inundation Mapper, 2020–2030 Science Strategy, and work on the Illinois River Basin. 

The full OKI Spring 2021 Newsletter is available for download (click the text link).


National Water Dashboard - USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

USGS OKI National Water Dashboard
USGS National Water Dashboard - OHKYIN WSC

The USGS has released the National Water Dashboard to the public. The new USGS | National Water Dashboard provides critical information to decision-makers, emergency managers and the public during flood events, informing decisions that can help protect lives and property.

Information from the NWD can help inform forecasting, response, and recovery efforts for agencies such as the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal, state, and local agencies as they issue flood and evacuation warnings, verify safe evacuation routes, and coordinate emergency response efforts.

Information from the NWD can also assist the USACE and other water-resource managers as they ensure safe and reliable water supplies and conduct their flood-control missions. The NWD will allow local data to be scaled up to a regional or national context that will help state resource managers visualize developing drought conditions and identify areas where water supplies are at risk during a drought.

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New USGS Project Will Improve Hydrologic Studies by Incorporating Water Well Drilling Records

How do you estimate the amount and location of something that cannot be seen? In the past, the best way to assess the depth and extent of aquifers underground storage of freshwater was to use a limited number of shallow and deep wells. The Indianapolis office of the OKI Water Science Center has begun a second phase of water well log collection and conversion into GIS datasets for hydrologic analyses that use existing well logs to improve the coverage of soil and bedrock information. The first phase collected and analyzed about three million well logs containing about 14 million lithlogic records for the glaciated area of the country. The results of phase one are presented in the USGS report at 

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New USGS Flood Inundation Mapper

The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper (FIM) allows users to explore the full set of inundation maps that shows where flooding would occur given a selected stream condition. The FIM Mapper helps communities visualize potential flooding scenarios, identify areas and resources that may be at risk, and enhance their local response effort during a flooding event.

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The Illinois River Basin

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has selected the Illinois River Basin as the third basin for deployment of its Next- Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS). This selection represents the third of ten Integrated Water Science (IWS) basins in the U.S. that will be the subjects of intensive study by USGS over the coming decade. Each IWS basin will be representative of a larger region and will be used to better understand and model factors affecting water availability in the basin, the larger region, and nationally. To do this, the USGS will integrate high-density monitoring with research, modeling, and assessment activities within each basin. These activities will be accomplished primarily through three programs in the USGS Water Resources Mission Area—Next Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS), Integrated Water Availability Assessments (IWAAs), and Integrated Water Prediction (IWP).

The USGS is investing in a Next Generation Water Observing System, or NGWOS, to help answer today’s complicated water questions; the USGS is currently using the NGWOS program to study two basins: the Delaware River Basin was chosen as the pilot watershed, followed by the Upper Colorado River Basin. The Illinois River Basin will be the third and was chosen to better understand water availability in a Midwestern watershed. In time, the USGS plans to increase the number of basins to ten (10) across the country.

Information from these basins will help to develop a better understanding of water systems across the country to improve predictions of water quantity and quality for the future. The Illinois River Basin was chosen as the third basin to examine because it consists of an extensive amount of urban and agricultural land uses that can help improve understanding of how nutrient sources, in combination with climate- and land-use change, may limit water availability.

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Employee spotlights in this edition include John Wilson, Zach RazorErin Stelzer, Nadine Lepore, and Amie Brady


Please download the full OKI Spring 2021 Newsletter to read more (click the text link).

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