Water-CAT: The Florida Water Resource Monitoring Catalog

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The Catalog is a searchable database of metadata—"data about data"—that allows anyone with access to the internet to find information about water resource monitoring activities in Florida. Each metadata element describes a sample site where information of some sort (chemical, physical, biological) is being collected about an individual water resource (lake, stream, estuary, ocean, watershed, aquifer, etc.). Metadata are contributed by individual organizations (local, state and federal environmental agencies, educational and research institutions, environmental consultants, testing laboratories, volunteer monitoring groups) that are performing the monitoring. Metadata are acquired directly from the organization performing the monitoring, or indirectly via regulatory agencies that receive routine submissions of water resource data.

The goal of the Catalog is to help water resource managers better protect, preserve, manage and restore water resources in the state of Florida, by making it easier for them to coordinate water resource monitoring efforts and share information. The Catalog can also help researchers by letting them know what data have been collected, where they were collected, and how to acquire the data for their own analysis. Members of the public can use the Catalog to find out about monitoring activities being performed in their communities.

The Catalog project is sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency . The Florida Water Resource Monitoring Council, created and coordinated by the DEP, is composed of stakeholders from many organizations and disciplines that participate in water resource monitoring and management statewide. Members of the Council provided guidance during the design and development of the Catalog. Design and implementation of the database and online tools to access it are being performed by the USF Water Institute at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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USF Water Institute, University of South Florida (Developed with Florida Water Resources Monitoring Council), 2014-2020