What is ACWI?
ACWI Member Organizations
The Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI)
represents the interests of water-information users and U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey
professionals in advising the Federal Government on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Federal water-information programs and their effectiveness U.S. Department of Agriculture
in meeting the Nation's water-information needs. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
National Weather Service
The Committee's aim is to improve water information for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
decision-making about natural resources management and Tennessee Valley Authority
Association of American State Geologists
environmental protection. The Office of Management and
Association of State Flood Plain Managers
Budget has designated the Department of the Interior, National Association of Clean Water Agencies
through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as the lead Western States Water Council
agency in this effort. Other Federal organizations that Association of State Drinking Water Administrators
fund, collect, or use water resources information work Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution
together with the USGS to implement ACWI Control Administrators
recommendations. Interstate Council on Water Policy
National Association of County Planners
ACWI members are appointed by the Secretary of the American Water Resources Association
Interior to serve 4-year terms. The membership includes a American Water Works Association
League of Women Voters of the United States
maximum of 35 national organizations that represent a
National Ground Water Association
wide range of water resources interests and functions, The Universities Council on Water Resources
including all levels of government, public interest groups, American Society of Civil Engineers
academia, private industry, and non-profit and professional Electric Power Research Institute
organizations. Ground Water Protection Council
North American Lake Management Society
Why is ACWI Needed? Water Environment Federation
Extensive activities for assessing and monitoring water
quality are underway across the United States by both ACWI's Subcommittees
government and non-government groups, including non-
profit volunteer organizations and local watershed groups. • National Water Quality Monitoring Council
(NWQMC) provides a national forum for coordinat-
Data and information from these multi-scale monitoring ing consistent and scientifically defensible methods
efforts provide significant input to federally regulated and strategies to improve water quality monitoring,
programs for protecting the environment, as well as for assessment, and reporting; and promotes
safe recreational use of rivers and streams by individual partnerships to foster collaboration, advance the
citizens. science, and improve management within all
elements of the water quality monitoring community.
Frequent and reliable communication and consultation is
needed to achieve reasonable geographic coverage, to • Methods and Data Comparability Board provides
improve access to information, to improve data a forum for exploring, evaluating, and promoting
comparability so that data can be used more than once, methods that facilitate collaboration and further
and to enhance quality control and quality assurance of comparability between water monitoring programs.
data collected from such diverse sources. Ultimately, the • National Liaison Committee for the National
complex partnerships fostered by ACWI for acquiring and Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
sharing water information reduce the overall costs for creates a national liaison process for external
operating resource management and environmental organizations to work with the NAWQA Program in
protection programs. joint problem solving on water quality issues.
• Subcommittee on Ground Water strives to develop • The Methods and Data Comparability Board is
and encourage implementation of a nationwide, adding physical habitat data elements to the popular
long-term groundwater quantity and quality Water Quality Data Elements Users’ Guide, per a
monitoring framework to provide information for the resolution adopted by ACWI during 2009.
planning, management, and development of
• The National Environmental Methods Index,
available online, currently has more than 1,000
• Subcommittee on Hydrology aims to improve the monitoring methods catalogued.
availability and reliability of the surface-water
• Enhancements facilitated through ACWI to the
quantity information that is needed for hazard
Watershed Boundary Dataset – developed jointly by
mitigation, water supply and demand management,
the USGS and USDA’s Natural Resources
and environmental protection.
Conservation Service, with input from other Federal
• Subcommittee on Sedimentation promotes and and State agencies – provide a geographic standard
supports development and standardization of for watershed-based resource management.
equipment, methodologies, and calibration and
• ACWI subcommittees provide a variety of training
performance criteria for the collection, analysis,
and workshops at the biennial National Monitoring
interpretation, and interchange of fluvial-sediment
Conference, aimed at monitoring professionals,
data and related technical information.
volunteers, and those who communicate water
• Subcommittee on Spatial Water Data – sponsored information to decision-makers and the public.
jointly with the Federal Geographic Data
• During 2009, NWQMC expanded support for
Committee – fosters the development of water-
development of State and Regional Monitoring
resources components of the National Spatial Data
Councils, including regular dialogue and information
exchange with regional monitoring councils through
• Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable serves a series of web-based seminars.
as a forum to share information and perspectives to
• In 2007-2009, NWQMC began three pilots for a
promote better decision-making for the sustainable
National Monitoring Network in coastal areas. This
development of our Nation's water resources.
cooperative effort – led by the Federal government,
but with significant input from State, regional, and
Products and Activities non-government organizations – helps focus
attention on the need to establish similar goals, use
ACWI provides a neutral forum where Interior and other comparable methods, and share resources to make
water-related Federal agencies – whether their focus is maximum use of the funds and monitoring efforts we
regulation, science, land and resource management, already have.
oceans and coastal resources, flood forecasting, or other
water-related activities – can work together to coordinate • The pilot efforts for the National Monitoring Network
activities, share resources, and collaborate on the in coastal areas have been so successful that
collection, storage, management, analysis, and ACWI's Subcommittee on Ground Water has
dissemination of water information. The State and non- undertaken a similar, groundwater-focused effort,
government member associations within ACWI broadly which began its own pilots in January 2010.
disseminate water data, information, and guidelines
produced by ACWI and its Federal member agencies, For current information on all ACWI and subgroup
thereby directly assisting volunteer monitoring groups, local meetings, as well as a large suite of products and
and regional watershed groups, and State and regional databases, visit the ACWI web site at http://acwi.gov/ and
monitoring councils to improve water quality and resource be sure to check out our "What's New" area.
Products developed by the ACWI subcommittees include a For more information contact:
diverse suite of databases, standards, guidelines, and Wendy E. Norton, ACWI Executive Secretary
training that improve the usability of information that is 417 National Center, Reston, VA 20192
collected and developed by Federal, State, and local 703-648-6810
governments and volunteer organizations: firstname.lastname@example.org