New EPA system developed to share continuous ‘real-time’ monitoring data
The maturation and expansion of water quality monitoring technology has led to a substantial amount of continuous or “real-time” water resource data that managers must now contend with when assessing and restoring state waters. These data are incredibly useful — but are owned by various agencies, stored in different formats, and not easily accessible or acquired.
The Interoperable Watersheds Network (IWN), developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, Water Data Integration Branch, is a national data-sharing platform that seamlessly links continuously monitored sensor data from multiple sources into one accessible and searchable location. IWN uses a distributed data model, open source software, and existing data standards to harmonize, share, and deliver continuous datasets.
Currents, the IWN discovery tool, now provides access to 15,678 sensors nationwide from eight data providers including state, local, and federal agencies. With future implementation of this pilot project nationwide, water quality managers will be able to better evaluate the health of watersheds and local water resources to make more timely and informed decisions.
IWN was a pilot project whose goal was, and is, to modernize the way EPA delivers environmental information.