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USA

Water Quality Data Exchange

Development and Implementation of an Ambient Water Quality XML Data Exchange for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians

Windsor Solutions was contracted by the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians (Tribe) to help the Tribe participate on the Exchange Network by exchanging ambient water quality data in an automated fashion, using the Water Quality Exchange (WQX).

Ambient Water QualityAmbient Water Quality

BACKGROUND

The Stillaguamish Watershed drains nearly 700 square miles of Snohomish and Skagit counties, from the foothills of Washington's Cascades into Puget Sound. The river is home to eight salmonid species, including several types of salmon, steelhead, sea-run cutthroat, and bull trout. Since 1994, the Tribe has worked to “manage, conserve and protect the natural resources that are required to sustain healthy populations of fish, shellfish, and wildlife within the Stillaguamish Watershed.” As part of their salmon recovery efforts, the Tribe monitors water quality on a quarterly basis throughout the year. The Tribe collects data on temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and fecal coliform, among other parameters. The results of this monitoring help the Tribe understand changes to the watershed over time, allowing them to respond accordingly.

A number of agencies need the information captured by the Tribe on a regular basis. Historically, exchanging this information was a manual process of delivering physical files in differing formats. As part of the Exchange Network, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing grants for tribes to become fully functioning participants.

THE CHALLENGE PRESENTED

The data resulting from the Tribe's field testing are periodically shared with other agencies and interested parties such as EPA and the Washington Department of Ecology. The exchange of this information involved delivering a physical database file to the interested parties via email or the postal service, after which the interested party was required to extract the needed information. With the increased success of the Exchange Network and the desire of the Tribe to contribute to its ongoing success, their challenge was to introduce these new capabilities without increasing the burden upon Tribal staff.

WINDSOR AT WORK: OUR SOLUTION

The Tribe contracted Windsor Solutions to implement Windsor's Exchange Network Node and to develop and implement a new data flow component that will support the exchange of WQX information via the Node. The system allows the Tribe to automate the process of exchanging ambient water quality information with their Partners who participate in the Exchange Network.

Windsor worked with the Tribe to map their existing data to the WQX XML Schema and to ensure that it was captured and stored in a consistent manner.

ETL Routine

In order to support this exchange, Windsor implemented the necessary components to work with the Tribe's source data and prepare it for exchange over the Exchange Network as an XML document. An extraction, transformation, and loading routine prepares Tribal data before the WQX data flow component converts the Tribe's testing results into the agreed-upon XML file format. The system supports the exchange of this information based on a set schedule or at the request of a Partner.

Following successful testing, the Tribe's WQX data flow was successfully switched to production. The EPA and other Exchange Network Partners can now use the Tribe's data to augment their own testing results. Conversely, the Tribe has the ability to view and augment their monitoring results with the information that is housed and shared by their Partners.

RESULTS THAT REWARD

This solution provides the Tribe with a number of benefits, including:

  • Fully functioning production WQX data flow and Network Node
  • Partners can request and receive ambient water quality information as needed and in real time
  • Improved performance, reliability and scalability thanks to open source technologies
  • The exchanged ambient water quality information will remain in a consistent and agreed-upon format for Partners to utilize
  • The Network Node can be expanded to support and participate in additional data flow components, such as the Pacific Northwest Water Quality Exchange (PNWWQX)
  • The Tribe's mandate to exchange information with the EPA is fulfilled


Details

CLIENT: Stillaguamish Tribe
DISCIPLINES: Water, Natural Resources
SERVICES:
PRODUCTS:

Interested in learning more?

Kevin Lyons

Contact Kevin Lyons
Windsor Solutions
(503) 675-7833 ext. 212
Email