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National Weather Service collaborates with many federal, state, and local agencies in providing you accurate and updated information. This collaboration, while avoiding duplication of efforts, enables us to pool resources to fulfill our mission objectives of providing forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property, and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure which can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community.
Our partners include many federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. This brief introduction will help you to understand the nature of our partnerships and provide a link to their web sites for more information.
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
The USGS is an agency within the Department of the Interior. Their Water Resources Division collects and publishes stream flow data. It also provides other hydrologic information to enable better use and management of water resources. The USGS owns and maintains many river gauges which provide us with data needed to accomplish our mission. The NWS often installs telemetry devices on USGS river gauges to access data remotely which is then shared by the two agencies. Their Water Resources Division's URL is https://water.usgs.gov.
United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR)
The USBR in the Department of the Interior primarily operates dams, power plants, and canals in the seventeen western states of the country. The Bureau's mission is to assist in meeting the increasing demand for water in the West while protecting the environment and public investment. The USBR provides rainfall and river data along with information about daily outflow from reservoirs to the NWS and uses our river forecasts and water supply forecasts in operating dams and plants. The Bureau's Web site is at https://www.usbr.gov/main/index.html.
United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The Corps provides engineering, management, and technical services to Department of Defense and other federal agencies. They are engaged in planning, designing, and operating water resources (river and harbor navigation, flood control, water supply, hydroelectric power, etc.) and other civil works projects (environmental restoration, wildlife protection, recreation, disaster response, etc.). The USACE provide us with current and forecast reservoir outflows. We also exchange river stage and precipitation data with them. For detailed information refer to https://www.usace.army.mil.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
The NRCS, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, works with local, state, federal agencies and private groups to conserve, improve, and sustain natural resources and environment. The NWS and the NRCS share and coordinate water supply forecasting responsibility. The NWS provides hydrometeorological and snow cover data and receives data from SNOTEL network operated by the NRCS. The network, consisting of 600 stations, provides valuable snow depth, snow water equivalent, and temperature data for high elevation sites. Many of these remote stations are inaccessible during winter times but are essential to forecasting snow melt runoff which is the largest contributor to river flows in the western U.S. For details refer to https://www.nrcs.usda.gov.
National Park Service (NPS)
The NPS is entrusted to preserve the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country. The park system consists of 378 areas covering more than 83 million acres in 49 states. Many national parks are part of our Cooperative Observer Network. There are many gauges located in the parks and exchange data from these gauges with us. The NPS uses our forecasts for park safety and planning. For more information refer to https://www.nps.gov.
ALERT Users Group (AUG)
The Automatic Local Evaluation in Real Time or (alert) is a method of using remote sensors in the field to transmit environmental data to a central computer in real time. It is a warning system used for flash floods. It is comprised of local, state, federal agencies and private organizations. The alert users have come together to share data, hardware, and software in different parts of the country. The NWS has agreements with AUG members relating to cooperation and support. More information about alert systems and Users Group can be obtained from https://www.alertsystems.org.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
The mission of the Bureau is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. It is part of the Department of the Interior. Native American lands are spread across the nation. Cooperation with various tribes is important when dealing with issues such as gauges, equipment, flooding in areas under their jurisdiction. Often special consideration will be required to obtain data and disseminate forecasts or products for these areas. The NWS has responsibility to provide meteorological and hydrologic forecasts to these Indian nations even though they are independent nations. For detailed information about the BIA refer to https://www.doi.gov/bureau-indian-affairs.html.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates the Tennessee River system to provide a wide range of public benefits: year-round navigation, flood damage reduction, affordable electricity, improved water quality and water supply, recreation, and economic growth. TVA operates the dams, locks, and reservoirs of the Tennessee River and its tributaries as one integrated system in order to provide multiple benefits for the region. These benefits include year-round navigation, flood damage reduction, affordable electricity, improved water quality and water supply, recreation, and economic growth. The TVA URL is https://www.tva.gov/river/index.htm.
The International Boundary & Water Commission (IBWC)
Established by a 1944 Treaty, The International Boundary & Water Commission is responsible for the distribution, regulation, and conservation of the Rio Grande between Mexico and the United States. As a bi-national commission, they are also responsible for the joint construction, maintenance, and operations of international storage dams, reservoirs, and hydro electric plants on the Rio Grande. In addition, the IBWC regulates the water allocated to Mexico from the Colorado River, protects the lands surrounded by the two rivers by maintaining river and levee projects, and strives to preserve the international boundary between the two countries in a sensitive, timely and fiscally responsible manner. The mission of the IBWC is to socially and economically apply the rights and obligations that the governments of the United States and Mexico assume under numerous boundary and water treaties in a manner that improves the relations between the two countries. The IBWC's webpage can be found at: https://www.ibwc.state.gov.
National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC)
The NHWC, with membership across the United States and around the world, is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting emergency and environmental management officials by providing expert advice on the use of real-time, high quality hydrologic information from automated remote data systems, with the goals of protecting lives, property, and the environment. The NWS and NHWC work closely to evaluate the value of hydrologic forecasts and warnings as well as to educate the public on their importance. More information on the NHWC can be obtained at http://www.hydrologicwarning.org.
Besides these cooperating agencies and partners of NWS, local and state emergency managers, city officials, and others work with us in dealing with problems arising from weather and hydrology related events.