"The Water Data Center has been an unpaid collaborator on our Shale Network grant and has had the responsibility of helping us organize, format, upload, and store water quality and quantity data in the area of shale gas development in the northeastern U.S.A...In every way the team has gone beyond all expectations to facilitate our effort. They have taught us about data systems and management, they have acted to troubleshoot problems in the HIS, they have given assistance in GIS attributes on HydroDesktop, they have taught workshop seminars on HydroDesktop, and they have made videos to teach how to use HydroDesktop. Our team finds water data and interprets it, largely from a geochemical point of view, and our collaboration with the CUAHSI team has been mutually beneficial. We find problems in the HIS and they work to improve the system. Likewise, we teach them about how geochemists use the data.
The country sorely needs access to water quality and quantity data. The USGS and EPA both provide such data for some locations but the number of monitoring sites has been generally decreasing. The HIS team is building a new way to share data online and this is an exemplar of where we need to go. I have been at meetings with river basin commissions where they were hosting other agencies and "wringing their hands" because they could not access each others' data. When I showed them that I could access their data easily with HydroDesktop, you could see the lightbulbs going off above their heads. I discovered that despite my best efforts to describe what HydroDesktop does, they had not understood until I showed them. We need CUAHSI to build this thing (HIS) so we can teach everyone from students to policy makers about what we need."
Distinguished Professor of Geosciences, Director of Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
The Pennsylvania State University