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Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) &
National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE)

Thematic Featured Collection in Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA)

Call For Papers


These thematic areas follow the special session track on OWDI/NFIE held at the annual AWRA conference 2014; however, participation in this Featured Collection of JAWRA is not limited to attendees at the Open Water Data Initiative Special Track held at the 2014 AWRA Annual Conference. This Featured Collection will include full technical papers as well as technical notes (see JAWRA Instruction for Authors) that address the following key areas:

National and International Scale Water Data Management Initiatives
What are the large water problems of the nation? What assembly of information is needed to address those problems? How does the present fragmented nature of our water information and institutions limit the solution to these problems? How can these limitations be overcome by a network of shared services for water data, modeling, forecasting and mapping? How can information be shared across levels of government from federal to local and in both directions, so that local actions are informed by national information and equally that especially during water emergencies national response can be informed by local information rapidly communicated and synthesized? How can government water information be presented as services so that commercial firms can transform that into useful applications for particular problems and sets of customers? How can structures such as the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the Advisory Committee on Water Information be used to define an appropriate architecture for Open Water Data sharing for the nation? Papers in this focus area will address some combination of these questions.

National Flood Interoperability Experiment
A National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE), representing the first Water Data Management initiative under the OWDI umbrella, is being held during 2014-2015 in association with the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. The NFIE addresses three questions: (1) How can near-real-time hydrologic simulations at high spatial resolution, covering the nation, be carried out using the NHDPlus or next generation hydro-fabric (e.g. data structure for hillslope, watershed scales)? (2) How can this lead to improved emergency response and community resilience? (3) How can an improved interoperability framework support the first two goals and lead to sustained innovation in the research to operations process?

National Water Data Infrastructure Issues: Data Access and Analytics

Development of analyses that summarize hydrologic conditions over long time periods into the past and/or future have significant data requirements. Recent advances in data availability, cloud based data services, computational capacity, and open source analytical tools have created an environment where massive advances in 'Big Data' interpretation and understanding of natural phenomenon can happen even on individual desktop computers. Papers in this focus area will present recent critical advances in data provision, access, processing, and analysis.

National Water Data Infrastructure Issues: Modeling and Integration:
Environmental simulation models that operate at global to local scales for the purpose of both enhancing understanding and supporting management of natural systems continue to improve in terms of utility and accuracy. Such models and modeling tasks are facilitated through the ever growing data stores and data streams, allowing for much improved abilities to answer tough questions. These applications must solve problems to structurally combine data and semantically mediate data in order to make use of them for a common task. Papers in this focus area will highlight innovative and proven models and data integrating analysis applications.

Open Water Data Futures
The future of an open water-data infrastructure will be guided and funded based on its ability to meet critical decision-support needs addressing changing climates and populations. Data that are available in a standardized way, comprising a wide range of water and climate data sources, are critical to better understanding past, current and future scenarios and their uncertainties. Each community and region faces unique choices distinct to their risks and vulnerabilities. The quality and availability of information underlies both the short-term and long-term success or failure of the measures and policies we enact. Papers in this focus area will discuss what is needed, what is possible, and what are the consequences of inaction.


Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 2.074


  • 30 March 2015: Deadline for extended abstracts (up to 1,000 words, including a few key references) to be sent to associate editor, Sandra Fox by email at Insert "Special JAWRA collection OWDI/NFIE" in email subject line.
  • 13 April 2015: Feedback on the abstract and notification on the invitation to submit a full paper
  • 1 June 2015: Final deadline for full paper submissions
  • 13 July 2015: Deadline for paper reviews and initial editorial decisions

To guarantee a timely publication, once the Guest Associate Editors have approved the extended abstract, authors are required to submit their full manuscripts by 1 June 2015. These manuscripts will undergo a full refereed review process.



David Maidment, Project Lead, NFIE
Kenneth Lanfear, JAWRA Editor, 2006 - 2014
Sandra Fox, JAWRA Associate Editor for Geospatial Analysis
Jack Hampson, AWRA Technology Committee
Daniel P. Ames, AWRA Technology Committee
David Blodgett, AWRA Technology Committee