Our Mission: To make finding water data simple.
In 2019, New Mexico took the steps to build the tools to improve and integrate water data. Only the second state to recognize the importance of building a modern, agile water data infrastructure, New Mexico enacted 2019 NM House Bill 651 to share, integrate and improve the management of water data. This includes data on water quality, quantity and uses. This future-looking project is a multi-year endeavor, and is critical in responsive and responsible water management and water planning by and for the people of New Mexico.
- Provide accessible water data for decision-making, research, public inquiry, management, and planning to the people of New Mexico
- Provide easy access to key water datasets
- Create common water data standards and definitions
- Identify and prioritize data gaps
In 2019, New Mexico enacted the Water Data Act (NMSA 1978, § 72-4B) to identify, share and integrate key water data. The Water Data Initiative (WDI) is the project convened by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), involving state “directing agencies” including the Office of State Engineer (OSE), Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), Environment Department (NMED) and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD).
The legislation has launched a multiyear effort of communication and collaboration among these agencies and others collecting or managing water data for the state. Other key partners, including the Internet of Water, Sandia National Laboratories, and Earth Data Analysis Center, have been instrumental to our progress.
Water Data Partners and Sponsors
How we’re doing it
The goal of the NM Water Data Initiative is to build a federated data model. In this modern approach, data providers keep ownership and maintain responsibility for their data. The providers take an active role in making the data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable).
Many data providers in New Mexico already make their data findable, such as through interactive maps or by using web services to query data. The accessibility and interoperability part of the process is where we are actively working now to make data available in “machine readable” formats, such as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This is another way of sharing data in a format that works very well for computers and web applications, allowing seamless access to data without the need to put data into another database. The data are hosted by the data providers and are directly accessed by computers and applications.
In the schematic below, data flow from field data collection to website applications describes several of the back end and front end concepts for the NM Water Data Initiative. Currently, in 2021, efforts are largely focused on the back end, the lower portion of the image and data process.