5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Amanda Gillum
Session Name Poster Session - Climate Change & Variability
Poster Number 5
Author(s) Shawn Landry,  USF Water Institute (Presenting Author)
  Jan Allyn,  USF Water Institute
  Florida Water-CAT: Making it easier to share metadata about chemical, physical and biological water monitoring activities
  The State of Florida has over 7,700 lakes, more than 11,000 miles of rivers/streams, more than 2,000 miles of tidal shoreline, and it sits atop one of the most plentiful aquifers in the United States. Water resource monitoring is vitally important so that water resource managers can ensure that this water meets the needs of the human population and ecosystems of Florida. Monitoring activities are carried out by hundreds of individual organizations, including: local, state and federal environmental agencies, educational and research institutions, environmental consultants and volunteer monitoring groups. In order to make it easier to coordinate monitoring efforts and share data, the Florida Water Resource Monitoring Catalog (www.Water-CAT.org) was developed as a publicly accessible online searchable database of metadata about water resource monitoring activities in Florida. The Water-CAT was developed by the USF Water Institute in partnership with the Florida Water Resource Monitoring Council (FWRMC) and launched in 2014 with metadata extracted from Florida STORET. Since the release of the Water-CAT, the project partners have been working with data providers to acquire metadata, populate the online database, and refine the application. The effort to obtain comprehensive metadata is being balanced with the reality that data providers can only dedicate a minimal amount of time towards metadata documentation. For example, data providers indicated that a lack of time or budget would made it difficult for them to assemble supplementary metadata. Metadata acquisition efforts have thus forced design changes to the Water-CAT, including: making specific metadata elements optional, redesigning the database schema to allow flexibility between data providers, and new efforts to accommode biological and ecological monitoring activities. This presentation discusses the future of the Water-CAT and the lessons learned during the first two years of efforts to obtain metadata and manage the website.