Arizona Streamgage Catalog (AZStreamCAT)
Our objective is to collect streamgage location and metadata information from various entities throughout Arizona, to begin to identify the number and diversity of streamgages operated by various entities throughout the state.
Issues Involved or Addressed
Efforts to coalesce existing data and integrate associated computer modeling products are increasingly necessary for effective management of land, water, energy, agricultural, and wildlife resources. Streamflow measurements are made by various agencies for different purposes, but these data are often not easily discoverable, which limits access to the potentially-available data in a given region. A geospatial dataset that shows where, when, and how streamflow has been measured, and the original purpose of the data across research, management, and restoration activities, will help resource managers collaboratively fill streamflow data gaps and curate a prioritized list of streamflow datasets of importance to stakeholders. Currently, Kaiser et al. (2023) and Montana’s Stream and Gage Explorer (StAGE) are the only known projects that have a regional-scale catalog of stream gages overseen by various operators.
AZStreamCAT is a project that is creating a map of virtually all streamgage and streamflow measurement locations in the state of Arizona, and is linking them to a catalog of metadata. This is the first project of its kind in the state, and it will be useful to a variety of stakeholders, from anglers and kayakers who seek to know the flow in a river prior to enjoying fishing and water recreation, to environmental consultants who seek flow data for environmental assessments, to agencies such as FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who seek to know streamflow in remote areas that might be subject to flooding. Once Arizona’s catalog has been developed, we can feasibly expand to include all seven states in the Colorado River Basin and/or develop a catalog of precipitation gages as well.
Methods and Tech
Students will follow the approach established by Kaiser et al. (2023) that includes:
- Identifying and creating a list of the multitude of streamgage operators in Arizona (or other Colorado River Basin states). This itself is a huge, important step in the process!
- Obtaining location information (e.g. latitude/longitude and elevation for each streamgage)
- Sending a Qualtrics survey to streamgage operators to obtain (not an exhaustive list):
- The number and type of gages operated by the organization
- The end-users of the organization’s streamgage data
- Location data for the gages (e.g. which watershed(s) in AZ)
- The purpose(s) of the stream gaging network
- The QA/QC protocols applied to the gages
- Summarizing the survey response data
- Developing a GIS map of streamflow measurement locations throughout a state region
Academic Majors of Interest
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geosciences, Environmental Sciences, Water Resource Economics, Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences (Environmental Hydrology & Water Resources - and – Atmospheric Sciences subplans)
Preferred Interests and Preparation
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Webpage building
- Storyboard development