US Geological Survey migrates water monitoring to Vancouver software developer’s Big Data platform

Image: Aquatic Informatics Inc.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has deployed software from Vancouver-based Aquatic Informatics Inc. to monitor water in the state of Alabama. Alabama is first of the 50 states to migrate from the USGS legacy Automated Data Processing System (ADAPS) system to the modern AQUARIUS platform.

All USGS continuous water data in Alabama are now stored and managed in AQUARIUS Time-Series to provide real-time information about surface and ground water, water quality and meteorological conditions to citizens and local, state, tribal and federal partners.

USGS, North America's largest environmental monitoring agency, is the most widely used provider of hydrological and environmental data in the U.S. and around the world.

With the deployment in Alabama, the USGS has begun a once in a generation digital transformation, retiring their ADAPS system originally designed in 1985. By mid-2017, the national USGS Office of Water Information will rely entirely on a single AQUARIUS Time-Series system to centralize, process and publish continuous environmental data collected from its 16,500 active real-time gauging sites across the United States.

In this era of Big Data, a highly scalable platform is vital to provide the processing power required by hydrologists and scientists to complete very large data management tasks and solve highly complex water challenges, according to Aquatic Informatics.

AQUARIUS Time-Series can handle so-called Big Data—a high volume of data that arrives from thousands of sensors at a high velocity and in a wide variety of formats, the company said. There is no practical limit to the length of a time series and no limit to the number of time series. As monitoring organizations grow, they can rely on the same platform to support their larger networks.

AQUARIUS Time-Series processes time series data in real-time. Computations can be simple, as with regression modelling or water balance accounting, or they can be highly complex, such as discharge derivation, evapotranspiration or sediment loads. Calculations can be chained together to any depth, with different calculation paths for different periods of time to solve water problems today and into the future.

"We've invested over three years of research and development, following a very agile and collaborative process with the USGS, to build our next generation platform," said Eric Dorgelo, chief technology officer at Aquatic Informatics.

"AQUARIUS Time-Series is today's most powerful system for managing water resources. Its highly scalable, flexible and extensible architecture can meet the needs of the smallest to the largest environmental monitoring organizations. Agencies of all sizes all over the world are already starting to realize the benefits of using a single platform to produce timely, accurate and defensible water information," Dorgelo said.

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