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Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (IWRSS)

The Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (IWRSS) is a consortium of federal agencies with complementary missions in water science, observation, management and prediction. The overarching objective of IWRSS is to enable and demonstrate a broad, integrative national water resources information system to serve as a reliable and authoritative means for adaptive water-related planning, preparedness and response activities.

The current members of IWRSS are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The four agencies formalized the consortium by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the Collaborative Science, Services and Tools to Support Integrated and Adaptive Water Resources Management in March 2016 designed to implement concepts and approaches described in the IWRSS "road map". The MOU was updated and expanded in 2021 to include additional agencies.

Focus Areas

IWRSS is initially focusing on the following key activities:

  • Coordinate flood inundation mapping to show the forecasted spatial extent and depth of flooding to enable emergency managers and other decision makers to pre-position people and resources to more effectively mitigate the impacts of floods and build more resilient communities;
  • Improve water modeling to develop a joint operational water resources forecasting system to produce new “Summit-to-Sea” high-resolution analyses and forecasts of water resource variables and quantify forecast uncertainty to help decision makers manage the increasingly limited fresh water supply and better mitigate the impacts of floods and droughts;
  • Enhance stakeholder interactions and communications to emphasize participatory processes which inform the design and development of new IWRSS capabilities and facilitate integrative and adaptive water resources management;
  • Improve system interoperability and data synchronization to expand and enable more timely communication of water information necessary to achieve a common operating picture.

Data Interoperability

A major goal of IWRSS is to improve system interoperability and data synchronization. Current work focuses on four areas (DECODES, Operational Time-Series, Rating Table Synchronization (needed for operation of streamgages), and IWRSS Data Exchange) where integration of common information across interagency systems is possible and would benefit data exchange and dissemination (Flood Hazards - A National Threat (Fact Sheet 2006-3026).

The IWRSS partners have agreed to several steps to improve IDS:

Flood Inundation Mapping

Flood inundation mapping includes a wide range of mapping products. The IWRSS FIM Workgroup has authored two documents that define FIM types, requirements for clearly developing FIMs and standards for designing services and cartography for clear and consistent display of Flood Inundation Maps.

The IWRSS partners have agreed to joint standards for FIMs listed here:

A flood inundation map library, one type of FIM, consists of a set of maps that shows where flooding may occur over a range of water levels in a community’s local stream or river. Both the USGS and NWS provide FIM viewers.

IWRSS Meeting Information

IWRSS POC Draft Call Agenda for January 10, 2018

Proposed Model Registry Pilot Project

IWRSS Governance Meeting-Annotated Agenda, December 18, 2017

IWRSS POC December Call, December 11, 2017

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 20-May-2021 15:54:19 EDT