Hydrologic Data Sources


By David R. Maidment

Center for Research in Water Resources

University of Texas at Austin


20 February 2007


USGS National Water Information System (NWIS)


General introduction http://water.usgs.gov/

Real time data (15 minute streamflow for last 31 days) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

Streamflow and lake level data (daily data up to the present) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/sw

Streamflow measurements (individual gagings at sites) http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/measurements

Peak flow data (floods) http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/peak

Groundwater data (observations on wells) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/gw

Water quality data (instantaneous measurements) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/qw

USGS Measurement sites (descriptive information on gaging, sampling sites on streams, wells) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/inventory

Water Use (5 year estimates of water use by counties) http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/

Unit Values (15 min data historically). http://ida.water.usgs.gov/ida/ This is a new service unveiled on Feb 9, 2007, that enables you to get streamflow data at 15 minute intervals. Its very good for small sites where floods pass quickly and 15 minute data are much more instructive than daily data.


NHDPlus 1:100,000 GIS vector and raster data files for National Hydrography Dataset http://www.horizon-systems.com/nhdplus/

USGS Streamgaging Sites GIS data http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/dsdl/USGS_Streamgages-NHD_Locations_GEODB.zip Gage sites file with locations right on NHDPlus. Additional descriptive attributes. Very good for space-time studies of streamflow data by combination with NWIS. For tutorial on how to use NHDPlus and gage sites file, see http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/giswr2006/Ex5/Ex52006.doc


EPA Storet (Storage and Retrieval) system http://www.epa.gov/storet/dw_home.html This site contains water quality and biological data collected to support the Clean Water Act. Easy to use but has gaps in its coverage of the country (including Texas).


NCDC Climate Data Online http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/cdo Hourly, daily, monthly and annual weather and climate data at point observation sites. Tutorial on how to use Climate Data Online:



Ameriflux http://public.ornl.gov/ameriflux/ Flux of water, heat and carbon between the land surface and atmosphere.


NCDC Radar Rainfall Archive and viewer http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/radar/radarresources.html


USDA NRCS National Water and Climate Center

General introduction http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/

Soil and Climate Analysis network http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/scan/ Soil water balance at point locations

Snotel http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/ Snow data from individual sites


NOAA Soil Moisture Monitoring http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/soilmst/w.shtml

(maps produced from their numerical weather forecasting model)


NOAA Hydrometeorological Design Studies Center http://www.weather.gov/oh/hdsc/currentpf.htm Precipitation frequency atlases for the United States


National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/ Maps of snow surveys and forecasts.


National Drought Mitigation Center http://drought.unl.edu/

Drought Monitor http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html Weekly drought severity maps


Texas Data Sources


TRACS water quality data for Texas (like EPA Storet but for Texas only) http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/compliance/monitoring/crp/data/samplequery.html

WIID Texas Water Information Integration and Dissemination (WIID) http://wiid.twdb.state.tx.us/ Well stratigraphy and water observations, water use forecasts, reservoir contents.

Evaporation and Precipitation by 1 degree quads http://hyper20.twdb.state.tx.us/Evaporation/evap.html Useful for evaluating reservoir evaporation from an open water surface.


Gridded Weather and Climate Data


Daymet http://www.daymet.org/ NCAR Gridded historical climate in daily time steps for 1 km grid. Can be queried by point locations. Tutorial on Weather Downloader (an ArcGIS application that downloads weather data for point feature classes) http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/giswr2006/Ex6/Ex62006.htm


COMET http://www.comet.ucar.edu/ Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training distance learning education about weather and climate

Numerical Weather Prediction Model descriptions and instructional tutorials http://www.meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu2/ (Requires a login) Describes variables calculated in different weather models.


NCEP National Centers for Environmental Prediction (numerical weather forecasting for the US) http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/products/ Definitions of variables in weather models: http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/docs/on388/


NCAR Community Data Portal http://cdp.ucar.edu/home/home.htm Research data from National Center for Atmospheric Research


NOMADS NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System http://nomads.ncdc.noaa.gov/ Access to historical weather model data


THREDDS http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/projects/THREDDS/ Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Services web services technology for weather and climate data


THREDDS data server at Unidata http://motherlode.ucar.edu:8080/thredds/catalog.html Tutorial on how to use this server http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/GradHydro2007/docs/THREDDS.htm#unidata



THREDDS data server at NCDC


Tutorial on how to use this server http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/GradHydro2007/docs/THREDDS.htm#ncdc


Remote Sensing Data


MOVAS http://g0dup05u.ecs.nasa.gov/Giovanni/ MODIS Online Visualization and Analysis System NASA data from the MODIS satellite sensor


NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/ (includes new netCDF data products)


Coastal Data


NOAA Tides and Currents http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/

Tides Online http://tidesonline.nos.noaa.gov/ Data on current and historical tidal levels. (6 min to monthly data at some locations)

TCOON (Texas Coastal Ocean Observing Network) http://lighthouse.tamucc.edu/TCOON/

TWDB Bay and Estuary data http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/DATA/bays_estuaries/bays_estuary_toc.asp


Global Data


GEMStat http://www.gemstat.org/ Global water quality data and statistics