WRDS Library [Home]
Digital Library Publications Videos Card Catalog

WWRC 83-02
Water Resources Data System User's Guide


The Water Resources Data System (WRDS) is a computerized database with flexible methods for the retrieval and analysis of Wyoming water resources data. The computerization process began in 1965, when encoding was started for all regularly reported streamflow data. All regularly reported surface and ground water quality data, climatological, water well level, and snow course data were added later. In addition, data not easily available elsewhere have been added to the system as they have been identified. As the database expanded, a number of programs were developed to retrieve and analyze the data. Presently, WRDS Is the most extensive database of Wyoming water resources available. It provides many kinds of analytical output, and is a fast, effective way to obtain large or small amounts of information.

To utilize WRDS efficiently, users must be informed about its two basic types of data and about the types of output produced by its computer programs. The first type of data stored on the system characterizes the data collection sites themselves; some examples are station number and name, location in terms of latitude-longitude and township-range, and source organization. Since information of this type is often displayed in computer output headings, it will be referred to as "header data". WRDS programs allow retrieval by one or more header parameters, so a description of specific header data elements and their codes is provided in Chapter 2 for reference purposes.

The second type of data stored on WRDS is that which is collected at the sites described in the headers. Since the values for these parameters change over time, they are referred to as "temporal data" in this guide. These parameters are stored in one of five major WRDS databases: Surface Water Quantity, Water Quality (surface and ground). Climate, Water Well Levels, and Snow Course. Temporal parameters within each database are grouped according to the frequency with which the data are collected (see Figure 1). Each temporal parameter is usually specific to a particular database; for example, end of the month reservoir contents reside in the surface water database, and daily mean air temperature is found in the climate database. A list of the temporal parameters associated with each database is presented in Chapter 3. Before making a WRDS request, the user should review the temporal data available for the database of interest to determine if the desired information resides in the system.

The computer programs available for retrieval and analysis of the temporal data in each database are also described in Chapter 3. The following information is provided for each program:

This information should help the user select the program that best suits his output requirements.

When preparing requests, the user should:

All of this information should be determined before the user initiates a request.

Previous publications describe earlier versions of the system (Embree and Cole, 1970; Embree and Larson, 1970; Smith, 1974; Smith, Pelton, and Bender, 1976; Pelton and Smith, 1977; Pelton, 1979; Shea and Baumgardner, 1981; Drury and Travis, 1983). A loose-leaf format has been chosen for this report to facilitate updates in the future. As new programs are written and old ones are modified, revisions to the manual will be sent to subscribers. We hope that this will make WRDS more adaptive to the water resources needs of the State of Wyoming.

Water Resources Publications List
Water Resources Data System Library | Water Resources Data System Homepage