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Snow and Water Data Collection and Stewardship

The National Water and Climate Center manages over 30, applications and keeps them continuously available. This page reviews how NRCS collects data from remote snow and water data collection sites, facilitates data quality assurance and control, and makes that data available to the public.

The Water and Climate Information System, usually referred to as WCIS, supports thousands of users and trillions of dollars of economic value every year. WCIS is comprised of the databases, applications, and tools which support the extensive data collection network of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting (SSWSF) Program and the Soil Climate Analysis Network.

Snow data are collected at automated Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites or manually-measured snow courses in the West. Soil climate data are collected at automated Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) sites throughout the U.S. Data are transmitted either to intermediate Master Stations or directly back to the centralized database servers, which are located in a secure, fail-safe environment.

The WCIS database also ingests precipitation, streamflow, and reservoir data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), various water districts and other entities.

All of the data collected are made publicly available as charts, graphs, maps, reports, and even in raw form.

Site Data Collection and Telemetry

Manual Snow Monitoring
Automated Snow Monitoring: SNOTEL and Snolite
Automated Soil Climate Monitoring
Telemetry

How to Access Snow and Water Data

Reports

Maps

Graphs

Western U.S. Reservoir Storage Bar Graph and Data Reports (Preliminary posted on 5th working day, final on 10th working day each month)

30-Year Medians and Averages

Additional Information