There has been a growing recognition in recent years of the need for a standardized means for sharing water data on the web. One response to this need was the development of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) Hydrologic Information System (HIS) and its accompanying WaterOneFlow and WaterML protocols. To date, the primary means for accessing data shared using these protocols has been limited to the Microsoft Windows HydroDesktop software, the WaterML R package, and the web based CUAHSI HydroClient which serves as an access point to the CUAHSI HIS database. We recognized the need for a new web-based tool for accessing data from any system that supports WaterOneFlow web services and WaterML and that could be regionally customizable, giving access to the most locally relevant portions of the HIS database, and providing a means for international government agencies, research teams, and others to make use of the accompanying protocols on a locally managed web application. To fill this need, we developed the open source, lightweight, installable web application, Water Data Explorer (WDE) which supports any WaterOneFlow service and can be customized for different regions containing WaterOneFlow web services. The WDE supports data discovery, data visualization, and data download for the selected WaterOneFlow services. The WDE's structure consist of WaterOneFlow catalogs, servers, and individual measurement stations. The WDE provides a different User Interface for administrators and regular users. A server administrator can specify which datasets an individual instance of the WDE supports so that end users of the application can access data from the specified datasets. We modularized the core WaterOneFlow access code into a new open-source Python package called "Pywaterml" which provides the methods used by WDE to discover, visualize, and download data. This thesis presents the design and development of the WDE and the associated Pywaterml package, which was done in partnership with end-users from the WMO and was done in an iterative design-build process. We present two case studies which involve data discovery and visualization from the CUAHSI HIS and WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS). Both case studies demonstrate the regional customization of the WDE which allows creation of different custom versions of the same application to meet specific end-user needs. The WDE data discovery in both case studies focuses on discovering the different sites contained in a WaterOneFlow web service, and ontology-based data discovery for the different concept variables in each web service. The data visualization we present, focuses on the time series observation for the different sites in each system. Finally, we tested data downloading in data discovery and visualization by downloading the information of each site to the WDE database and allowing the user to download the time series data.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Observation Networks, WMO, WHOS, CUAHSI, Tethys, HydroShare, HydroServer



Included in

Engineering Commons