Ed Quilty, President & CEO – Aquatic Informatics and Robert Mason, Acting Chief – US Geological Survey (USGS) Office of Surface Water at the USGS National Data Conference in Portland, Oregon
I’m writing this blog from the USGS National Data Conference in Portland, Oregon, where yesterday the USGS announced that AQUARIUS has been selected as the commercial replacement for the existing Automated Data Processing System (ADAPS), the core software within the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) used to process, compute, validate, correct, display and otherwise store time series data.
To say we are deeply honored to have this great responsibility bestowed upon us is a significant understatement.
The USGS is, without a doubt, the foremost global leader in surface water science. The world looks to the USGS for leadership, which they generously provide. And now the USGS has put its trust in Aquatic Informatics. I say Aquatic Informatics, not AQUARIUS, because I believe the USGS has not only selected our product, but it has selected our people as well. Like the USGS, our team is comprised of among the most dedicated, passionate, energetic, and innovative hydrologists, engineers, and IT professionals in the world.
ADAPS was developed internally by the USGS and originally implemented in 1984. ADAPS has served the USGS well for nearly 30 years and is still impressive. Astonishing, ADAPS is only one example of hundreds of highly innovative software applications developed by the USGS. Many have been developed out of need by passionate staff in field offices.
We recognize that the transition from ADAPS to a commercial solution will be a big change for the USGS, and it will be an engaging process.
No commercial solution meets all of the requirements of the USGS – they are simply too big and have been around for too long. Even AQUARIUS needs to be customized, expanded, and adapted to meet their needs. Though the AQUARIUS architecture offers great flexibility, efficiency, scalability, and compatibility for expansion and customization, the USGS requires more than a good technical platform, they need a great partner.
At Aquatic Informatics, we understand their mission, the way they do business, and their unique culture. Our team has a similar spirit of innovation, creativity, and flexibility, and one that takes great pride in everything we do. We are thrilled at the opportunity to work more deeply with the USGS.
Our relationship with the USGS started in 2005 when they adopted a commercial hydrometric software solution for the first time. The USGS purchased a customized AQUARIUS toolbox to meet their requirements for a computer-based tool that provided a consistent graphical method for rating development and also conformed with their techniques and standards for computation of streamflow. Until that time, the USGS developed rating curves using the traditional paper and pen method. The switch to AQUARIUS was a relatively big change in the way the USGS did business. We worked very closely with the USGS over an intense 6-month period, following what is now more widely known as an Agile software development method. We communicated roughly daily, and frequently adjusted the specifications until we precisely meet their needs. The result was an on time and on budget delivery with a successful nationwide adoption of the AQUARIUS tool, GRSAT (Graphical Rating and Shift Adjustment Tool).
Our customers worldwide have benefited from our previous work with the USGS. The commercially available AQUARIUS rating development tool is engineered to support the latest global standards set by the USGS, ISO, WMO, and OGC. So our customers can trust that they are building accurate ratings and they can have the highest confidence in their calculations of flow.
They are using the right tools and the right science.
The Aquatic Informatics team could not be more excited to enter into this next phase of the partnership with the USGS. There has proved to be an excellent match in approach and culture, which has only grown as our company has grown and our relationship with the USGS has deepened. With the award of the ADAPS replacement project, we will be continuing to work alongside the world leaders, renowned for the production of vast amounts of timely and accurate hydrological data, to ensure that our solutions continue to deliver innovation that represents the latest hydrological science and principles.