Walker Basin Project

Data and Model Distribution Policy for the Walker Basin Project

16 September 2009


Over the 18 month duration of the Walker Basin Project, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) collected and/or developed a large volume of spatial and aspatial (tabular) data for the various research projects.  The methods and results from these projects, as well as some of the data, can be found in the 1100 page final report delivered to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Report of Research Findings, that is now available to the public on the Walker Basin Project website, http://environment.unr.edu/walker

Some research projects, such as the water rights GIS database development project, delivered a spatial data package on storage medium as part of their deliverable to BOR, and these data will be made available to the public as described in this distribution policy document.  Much of the data and models generated during the project, however, were not delivered to BOR as part of the report, but are still maintained by the various researchers at DRI and UNR.  This includes the Walker River Decision Support Tool (DST) software developed as part of the DST modeling effort. 

This document establishes a distribution policy for those data that have been delivered to BOR and for those data and models that were not delivered to the agency as part of the reporting requirements, as these data and model may be of interest to outside government agencies, private companies and the general public.   DRI and UNR will be responsible for providing these data to requesting agencies and citizens.  This document describes the project data that is public domain and already delivered to BOR, project data that are presently being modified to improve its accuracy, and project data that were obtained from sources that have requested that its distribution be restricted, or requires that the data be acquired directly from the original source.  These later data sets may be proprietary and/or business sensitive, and therefore public distribution, either from DRI/UNR or the agency/entity that provided the data, will be based on permission granted from that entity.  In the March 28, 2006 notice of project award letter from BOR, DRI/UNR was directed by the agency to “ensure any restrictions regarding proprietary data, as well as classified and business-sensitive information.”  DRI/UNR will honor that directive and adhere to the restrictions placed on certain data sets by the original sources.

Walker Project data and model components and their respective distribution policies

Publicly available data and models already delivered to BOR

Many of the these data sets were either directly downloaded from public domain websites such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), obtained through official requests to federal, state or local agencies, purchased from private vendors, or developed in-house by DRI.   Projects such as the water rights GIS database project developed geodatabases and data sets from the ground up, or developed derivative data sets from public domain data.  These data sets may consist of both vector (i.e. USDA Farm Service Agency common land units and field boundaries, DRI main points of diversion on the river system) and raster data sets (i.e. USGS digital elevation model (DEM) data, DRI irrigated agriculture rasters).

These data sets will be available upon BOR’s acceptance of the Walker Basin Project final report, which should be completed by October 2009. 

Walker Project data and models presently being modified and/or updated

Several spatial data sets, and the Walker Basin DST, are presently being updated and upgraded with data recently acquired in the field and/or made available by agencies and entities in the Walker Basin who had not made these data available during the 18 month life cycle of the project.  Modifying the existing data sets and the DST model with the newly acquired data will improve the quality of these data sets, as these updates will allow researchers to identify errors in the original data layers and correct them.  These data sets include the delivery and drain systems in Mason and Smith Valleys, as well as the Hydrologic Response Units (HRUs) in both valleys.

These data and DST software will be made available upon BOR’s acceptance of the Walker Basin Project final report, AND when the modified data sets and model are thoroughly QA/QC’d.  The QA/QC process will be completed no later than December, 2009, at which time the data and software will be made available to the public.

Restricted Walker Project data and models

Several tables created by DRI using data obtained from sources in the Walker Basin are considered business sensitive and therefore will require additional permission from these entities in order to be distributed by DRI.   It is possible that interested parties may have to obtain these data directly from the original source.  These data include annual and daily diversion data measured at the main points of diversion on the Walker River system.  In addition, release of the groundwater Place of Use (POU) and Point of Diversion (POD) data developed by DRI in collaboration with the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) will require prior approval by NDWR.

Data Release Mechanisms

DRI and UNR shall release data and DST software in their archives using the most efficient means necessary to minimize delivery time and effort on Walker project personnel.  If the data sets requested are few and relatively small, this can be accomplished via e-mail.  If the data sets are larger and more numerous, the preferred method of releasing data will be placing it on the Walker Basin File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site, which prevents outside, unauthorized entities from accessing the data.  DRI/UNR will provide logins and passwords to parties requesting these data.  The Walker FTP site can hold a relatively large amount of spatial and aspatial data.  However, if a request is made for all of the available data, the preferred method is for the interested party to bring an appropriate storage medium device (external drive, flash drive, etc.) directly to DRI or UNR so that research faculty can copy the desired data and/or models to the medium.

Data Release Contacts

All requests for data associated with the Walker Basin Project should be made through the overall project managers--Jim Thomas at DRI and Mike Collopy at the University of Nevada, Reno.  They will in turn contact the individual project PI’s about providing the requested information using one of the mechanisms described above.

Jim Thomas: jthomas@dri.edu (775) 673-7305
Mike Collopy: mcollopy@unr.edu