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Viewing WATERS Data using Google Earth


The WATERSKMZ Tool is a compressed Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file that provides easy access to geospatial WATERS data and services. The current release of the tool requires the use of Google Earth Exitversion 5.0 or higher.

To get started using the WATERSKMZ Tool visit the WATERSKMZ tutorial.

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WATERSKMZ Tool v1.9.kmz(350 K, 12/15/2017)

(Updated 12-15-2017)

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Interface Overview

One Access to framework geospatial datasets stored in WATERS, such as NHDPlus, Water Program Features indexed to NHDPlus and to general purpose services.
Two Dialog boxes providing access to tools, services, and information, such as NHDPlus feature name query, upstream & downstream navigation, water quality reports.
Three Access to indexed water program features, with hyperlinks to additional attributes, and context sensitive analysis services, such as upstream & downstream navigation and watershed reports.
Four Full descriptive legend showing layer symbology.
Five Integrated information frame to perform analysis results.


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Available Data


  • NHDPlus v2.1 Features
  • NHDPlus v2.1 Simplified Catchments
  • NHDPlus v2.1 Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD)
  • EPA Linked Data
    • 303(d) Listed Impaired Waters
    • 305(b) Assessed Waters
    • Beaches
    • Clean Watersheds Needs Survey
    • Facilities that Discharge to Water
    • Fish Consumption Advisories
    • Fish Tissue Data
    • TMDLs on Impaired Waters
    • Monitoring Locations
    • Nonpoint Source Projects
  • Other Linked Data
    • USGS Streamgages


  • Some tools and reports are only available for certain features types (points, lines, areas). i.e. The Upstream/Downstream Search Service Tool is only available for line features.

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Please refer to the underlying data and/or services web page for metadata related to the WATERSKMZ.

Type Hyperlinks to metadata

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Usage Notes

  • The KMZ file is designed to work in version 5.0 or higher of Google Earth.

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Terms of Use and Disclaimer

The user is responsible for reading and evaluating dataset limitations, restrictions, and intended use. For additional information, please see WATERS Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

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Version: 1.9 - Released: December 15, 2017

  • File updated to reference new mapping service location. This is a breaking change, users need to download this version to continue to work with the WATERSKMZ.
  • The Streams and Catchments data set popups were updated to point to EPA’s revised Watershed Report. The revised report provides access to the StreamCat Dataset which currently provides summaries of 206 natural and anthropogenic landscape features for ~2.65 million streams, and their associated catchments, within the conterminous USA.
  • USGS Streamgages were added as a new data set under the folder labelled “Other Linked Data”.

Version: 1.8 - Released: November 9, 2016

  • KMZ file updated to reference new mapping service location.  This is a breaking change, users need to download this version to continue to work with the WATERSKMZ.

Version: 1.7 - Released: October 13, 2015

  • KMZ file updated to reference redesigned EPA web pages.  This is not a breaking change for Google Earth functionality, but ensures that all referenced web pages link correctly.

Version: 1.6 - Released: February 5, 2014

  • KMZ file updated to use new mapping server. This is a breaking change, users will need to download a new version of the KMZ files to use the tool.
  • Removed references to decommissioned services and datasets.
  • The Raster version of the WATERSKMZ Tool was decommissioned.

Vector & Raster Version: 1.5 - Released: June 23, 2013

  • KMZ files updated to use new mapping server. This is a breaking change, users will need to download a new version of the KMZ files to use the tool.

Vector & Raster Version: 1.4 - Released: February 07, 2012

  • Removed Water Quality Standards program from KMZ.

Vector Version 1.3 & Raster Version 1.2 - Released: November 24, 2010

  • Added STORET Monitoring Locations to both versions of the WATERSKMZ.
  • Added STORET Monitoring Locations to the Upstream/Downstream Search Service tool.

Raster Version: 1.1 - Released: September 30, 2010

  • Added TMDLs on Impaired Waters to KMZ.
  • Updated Water Program Features names to match Vector version.

Vector Version: 1.2 - Released: May 07, 2010

  • Simplified terminology and structure.
  • Symbology integrated into MyPlaces pane.
  • Miscellaneous bubble improvements.

Vector Version: 1.1 - Released: November 13, 2009

  • KMZ files now require Google Earth 5.0 or higher.
  • The terminology used in the KMZ files was simplified.
  • The KMZ service tools were simplified.
  • A new Surfacewater Features legend was added.

Vector & Raster Version: 1.0 - Released: August 31, 2009

  • Initial release of both Vector and Raster based KMZ files

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