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Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange

More on Pacific Northwest Water Quality

EPA Region X Office

Project Goal:
Use the Exchange Network to develop a comprehensive source of water quality data for use in environmental decisions.

Project Benefits:
The Exchange Network enabled the project participants to:

The issue

Regional, state, tribal and local jurisdictions wanted the ability to make important water quality decisions based on good aggregated information related to the watershed and bodies of water that crossed their political and jurisdictional boundaries. The environmental and health data to do this analysis was inaccessible to decision makers because the relevant databases were incompatible.

The solution

The states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington partnered with EPA's Region 10 office and used the Exchange Network to develop the Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange ¯ a comprehensive source of water quality data for jointly-regulated watersheds and bodies of water. This data exchange uses a common set of data elements and XML schema requirements to define the data that are shared through individual Exchange Network Nodes. Publicly accessible, the Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange allows state environmental agencies, tribes, fishery commissions, universities, other federal and state agencies, local watershed councils, and others to acquire the data through a public Web site. Stakeholders can add data by contacting the project managers. This data exchange provides access to an ever-growing source of comparable water quality monitoring data, making this exchange a powerful management tool for environmental decision makers who need timely, accurate and consistent data on watersheds in the Pacific Northwest.

The benefits

The Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange enabled the states in the region to share data more efficiently and effectively. Data that would have taken weeks to collect from disparate systems in multiple states is quickly accessible to many users. Data entry by project manager-approved stakeholders improves the environmental information; the data becomes more comprehensive and accurate. Environmental decision makers are now able to conduct customized data searches, which encourages enhanced research on the regional watersheds. For example, the State of Oregon is using the Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange to study water quality trends in the Columbia River basin ¯ a geographic area that crosses four states.

For more information

Curtis Cude (CUDE.Curtis@deq.state.or.us), Project Lead
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
(503) 229-6086
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