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Overview of the Cooperative Water Program Task Force Findings. Presented at the Water Information Management Systems Workshop Missoula, Montana September 2005 Barney Austin Texas Water Development Board. Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI).

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Overview of the Cooperative Water Program Task Force Findings


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    1. Overview of the Cooperative Water Program Task Force Findings Presented at the Water Information Management Systems Workshop Missoula, Montana September 2005 Barney Austin Texas Water Development Board

    2. Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) • …to represent the interests of water-information users and professionals in advising the Federal Government on Federal water-information programs and their effectiveness in meeting the Nation's water-information needs…

    3. Overview of the Cooperative Water Program • Created in 1895 • Combine resources of the Federal gov’t with other governmental units to collect and analyze water resources data • In 1905 Congress appropriated funds specifically for cooperative studies • Main objectives: • To collect data for the continuing determination and evaluation of the quantity, quality and use of the Nation’s water resources. • To appraise physical, biological and chemical characteristics of surface and groundwater through data analysis and interpretive studies.

    4. Overview of ‘99 Coop Task Force • Task Force established by the ACWI at their August 1998 meeting in Denver, CO • Terms of Reference: • To assess the effectiveness of the Cooperative Water Program; • To make recommendations; • Provide a written report of the findings…

    5. Overview of ‘99 Coop Task Force • Membership: 21 individuals representing 21 organizations • A total of 59 findings in areas of: • Mission; • Priorities for funding; • Funding levels; • A national streamgaging program; • Collaboration and communication; • Competition with the private sector; • Quality of USGS work; • Products • Response letter by Secretary Norton to ACWI with enclosed USGS responses to report recommendations (10/3/01)

    6. Overview of the 2004 Task Force • ToR: To review the progress of the USGS in implementing the recommendations of the 1999 Coop TF report. • Report will serve as the basis for the ACWI to recommend mid-course corrections to enhance the Program…form the basis for an internal USGS 5-year action plan for the Program.

    7. Task Force membership *Glenn Patterson USGS Executive Secretary & Non-voting member

    8. USGS accomplishments since 1999 • Establishment of NSIP • Identification and partial funding of core network • Improved data collection and dissemination • Development of the CWP web site • Better communication • Avoid competition with the private sector • Several new cooperators • Reports available online

    9. 2004 TF Report – Appendix B • USGS response – Agree/disagree • Status – Complete/adopted/implemented… • 2004 TF Priority rating* – High/medium/low • 2004 TF Progress Assessment • USGS Implementation Plan

    10. Status of ’99 TF recommendations • Status of recommendations in the ’99 report: • 6 complete • 50 agree, adopted, ongoing • 2 partially agree, partially adopted • Use of in-kind services (11.3) • Proposals on the web (17.1) • 2 disagree, not implemented • Billing based on actual cost per station (8.2) • Use of outside contractors for data collection (11.2a) • TF assessment: 9 “Insufficient progress”

    11. Chapter III of 2004 TF report • Where the USGS does not fully agree (4) • TF assessment: Insufficient progress (9)

    12. Chapter III of 2004 TF report • Emphasis on long-term data collection and core competency (10.1, 15.2) • Relationships with cooperators and the private sector (11.2a, 15.3) • Use of in-kind services (11.3) • Accessibility to information on proposals (17.1) • Billing based on actual vs. average costs (8.2) • Scheduling/timing of reports (25.1, 30.1) • Funding issues (4.1)

    13. Prioritization • ’99 Report did not prioritize • Beyond TF ToR, but may be important to the USGS (limited funding & resources…) • High, medium, low • Rating of all recommendations by all members • Secret formula to compile ratings (G. Patterson) • 14 High, 44 Medium, 2 low

    14. High Priority & Insufficient Progress • Full match for Coop stations including provision for inflation (4.1) • NSIP…100% funding for national streamgaging network (9.1) • Long-term data collection vs. interpretive studies (10.1) • The CWP should concentrate on its core competency (15.2) • Improve reporting (25.1) • Improve timeliness of deliverables; • Make transparent report procedure; • Accessibility to data in ongoing projects; • Maintain point of contact for long-term projects; • Improve knowledge transfer within USGS. • Increase the use of in-kind services (11.3)

    15. Funding issues! • 4 of 6 “high priority, insufficient progress” • Data quality has improved since 1895! • Real time information invaluable • Access to water info databases & stats • High tech equipment and staff now required for developing rating curves…

    16. Average rate of increase 3.8 % per year

    17. Funding issues • Cooperators now pick up 68% of the total cost of running the cooperative program • NSIP has not improved the streamgaging situation due to lack of funding • CWP needs in excess of $71M to bring relationship back to 50-50 cost share • NSIP needs $103M for full funding of core network

    18. Funding for NSIP and CWP… Signatories: WSWC ICWP NWRA Assoc. of State Floodplain managers etc…20 in total

    19. The streamgaging funding story! Peter Evans (Executive Director) Interstate Council for Water Policy (703) 243-7383 (office) (703) 622-6660 (cell) phe@riverswork.com www.icwp.orglink!

    20. For more information… • About the Task Force Review: • http://water.usgs.gov/wicp/acwi/coop/ • About the Cooperative Water Program: • http://water.usgs.gov/coop/ • Barney Austin (WSWC/TWDB) • Barney.austin@twdb.state.tx.us • (512) 463-8856