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Posted: April 1, 2021

Get the water info you want

By Mike Ekberg, manager of water resources monitoring and analysis

Whether you’re just curious and want to know how much rain fell in the Miami Valley region over the past 24 hours. Or you’re an engineer who needs to know the highest river level for infrastructure design. Or you’re a hydrologist needing groundwater levels for a modeling study. MCD’s new water data portal is your go-to spot.

map showing March 20202 rainfall at numerous stations in the watershed

With the water data portal, you can check how much rain has fallen at various stations throughout the watershed like this example from March 2020. Choose from 24-hour, seven-day, 30-day totals and more.

Powered by Aquatic Informatics
To create an easy-to-access portal to all our water data, MCD contracted with Aquatic Informatics, a cloud-based water information management system. MCD staff can now upload water data—measured in the field and throughout the region—directly to the Internet.

MCD staff also performs quality assurance and quality control checks when needed to ensure the data is as accurate as possible. Relevant information can also be extracted and displayed from other agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey.

Featuring data dashboards
With the portal, you can view data dashboards like this one for viewing up-to-the-hour information on river conditions.

This particular data dashboard provides current river flow data. When you see these dials, you’ll be viewing the latest stream flow measurement at a particular location (in this case, Troy with a stream flow of 669 cubic feet per second). The dial goes up to 78,000 cubic feet per second which is the capacity of the river channel at Troy.

Who uses water data
The portal can provide data based on a variety of needs. For example:

  • A paddler planning a trip on the Great Miami River might want to check river temperature.
  • A water utility manager might be interested in how much rain fell during a particular month to assist with compliance monitoring.
  • An engineer might want to know highest the river level or flow at a particular gage during a recent event for designing a bridge.
  • A hydrologist or environmental consultant might be interested in recent groundwater levels measured in a particular area for a groundwater modeling study.
  • A scientist doing research might be interested in nutrient concentrations measured in the Great Miami River for a water quality study.

Customized charts
If you’re looking for specific information, you can also view data in customized charts. The chart below shows measured depths to water at an MCD observation well in downtown Dayton at RiverScape MetroPark.

And more …
For those looking for even more in-depth information, the water data portal also allows users to view locations of water data collection stations, export data from those stations, and view statistical displays of station data in a map environment. The portal’s data analytics will continue to grow as technology in this cloud-based system continues to advance.

Data analytics and water data
This is an exciting time for people interested in—and professionals who work with—water data. More and more, we can now capture and share water data in ways that help you better understand water quality and quantity trends.

Hopefully, this information also will assist our regional leaders as they work to make wise decisions regarding the stewardship of our natural water resources.