Our mission: To create an intuitive system to index, document, search, and access Texas water data.
The underlying motivation for the Texas Water Data Hub is the belief that good decision making is based on good data. Unfortunately, water data can sometimes be fragmented or locked away, making it difficult to value or use. By creating a catalog of datasets with standardized documentation that follows the principles of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data, the Hub will increase access to and usability of Texas water data, serving both water data producers and users across Texas.
The Hub is an evolving and responsive project, meaning we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We depend on data contributions from across geographies, entities, and disciplines, and we know that the greatest asset of the Hub is you! If you have a suggestion or are interested in contributing data, please contact us or let us know what you think of the Hub so far by filling out a short survey. We will continuously work with stakeholders to ensure the Hub is meeting your needs and advancing FAIR water data in Texas.
In 2018, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) hosted the ‘Connecting Texas Water Data’ workshop for stakeholders from across the Texas water landscape. At the end of the day, participants expressed a deep commitment to the belief that Texas water data should be FAIR, and the idea of the Texas Water Data Hub was born.
As part of a 2019 exceptional item request, the 86th Texas Legislature provided funding for two positions to enhance the agency’s flood web tools and to begin identifying and connecting existing, publicly available sources of water data across the state. Groundwork for development of the Hub began in 2020, and a year-long design phase launched in 2021 thanks to philanthropic funding. That year focused heavily on Human Centered Design methods that put real people at the center of the Hub's development. By first seeking to understand the experiences and circumstances of water data users and producers, we could design a Hub that would address real stakeholder needs rather than assumptions or perceptions. Throughout the design period, generative user research, stakeholder workshops, iterative prototype development, and user testing were all used to bring in outside perspectives and feedback that helped guide the project team and informed the Hub's design. Thanks to additional philanthropic funding provided in 2022, project development continued on an accelerated schedule. The Hub team began building out the research-informed design from the previous year and ultimately developed the Beta version of the Hub by year end. In January 2023 we released the Beta Texas Water Data Hub to the public. Though Beta doesn’t have all the bells and whistles laid out in the design plan, we believe it’s more important to provide you with the core benefits of the Hub now rather than ask you to wait for the final polished product.
One important thing to know about the hub is that we’re not done yet! Enhancements and updates will be released as we complete them and launch of the full Hub is planned for early 2024. Additionally, we are committed to advancing FAIR water data in Texas, which means that work on the Hub will never truly be finished. We will continue to build out the catalog, enhance and adapt the platform based on user feedback, and offer guidance on data standards and best practices among other efforts.
Partners and Sponsors
Thanks to the support of our philanthropic funders, key partners, and enthusiastic data stakeholders the Texas Water Data Hub has transitioned from an aspirational idea to a usable system.
Special thanks to the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, and the Windward Fund’s Water Funder Initiative for their generous support of this project. Additionally, thanks to the Internet of Water Coalition for their guidance throughout the Hub’s development.