Rice University

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis, Third Edition

Appendix E – Useful Internet Hydrology Links


Appendix E

Hydrology-Related Internet Links

This list of Web sites was last updated in July 2001, and web addresses sometimes change.

The reader should also note the availability of proprietary software for hydrologic analysis, which may be obtained from numerous commercial vendors.



Weather and Meteorology


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Web site. Contains useful weather and climate information, particularly concerning the oceans.


The National Weather Service provides up-to-date and in-depth forecasts for across the country.


Intellicast is a commercial weather site on the Internet. One of the best features is a Java-enabled NEXRAD radar loop of the nation. Clicking on a region of the national radar loop will bring up the regional radar loop for that part of the country.


The University of Michigan’s weather site. Not only is a vast amount of weather information available from this Web site, but it also contains links to about 300 other weather-related sites.


The National Climatic Data Center has a huge weather data archive made available to the public through this site.


This Web site of the Canadian Meteorological Centre, Water and Climate Data, Environment Canada provides access to statistical summaries, current conditions, and data archives across Canada.


Unisys’s site provides forecast data that is designed for the weather professional.


WeatherBug is a free, downloadable program available from this site. It gives the user real-time weather information and weather alerts while the user is online.


AgriMet, a conjunction of the words “agricultural” and “meteorology,” is a satellite-based network of automated agricultural weather stations operated and maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Several kinds of weather data, primarily of agricultural interest, are available for the Pacific Northwest and Nevada.

GIS Data


The GIS Data Depot has large amounts of GIS data available for free download.


The USGS provides GIS data for watersheds. Perhaps most useful is its use of HUCs (Hydrologic Unit Codes). HUCs are the numeric addresses for watersheds used by the USGS, and the site allows the user to look up the HUC for a specific watershed.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides GIS data specific to wetlands.


Microsoft’s Terraserver project contains vast numbers of aerial photographs called DOQs (Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles). The Terraserver database contains images that cover nearly the entire globe.


Vieux Inc. performs mathematical analysis on NEXRAD radar, determines actual amounts of rainfall over a watershed, and places the data in a format to be used in GIS. The GIS data allows rainfall to be calculated in watersheds where no rain gages exist.


General site explaining what GIS is and some of its capabilities.


ESRI is the developer of ArcView, one of the most popular GIS viewers available.


The TIGER/Line files are a digital database of geographic features, such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes, political boundaries, and census statistical boundaries, covering the entire United States. The database contains information about these features, such as their location in latitude and longitude, the name, the type of feature, address ranges for most streets, the geographic relationship to other features, and other related information. They are the public product created from the Census Bureau’s TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) database of geographic information.


Notes and study materials for GIS and the geographer’s craft.


Dedicated to making Remote Sensing algorithms, code, and technology available to all interested parties.


The GISPortal is one of the top Web sites for GIS industry information.


Avenue scripts, extensions, and other goodies.


National Wetlands Research Center spatial data and metadata server.


The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that contains information about surface water features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, springs, and wells.


Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) integrates a GIS, national watershed data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one convenient package.

General Hydrology


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a Web page called “Surf Your Watershed” that allows the user to input a location. In return, the EPA provides a map of the watershed, water quality information, and water use data.


This portion of the USGS Web site is devoted entirely to hydrology. Real-time and historic stream flows and gage heights are accessible from here, as well as GIS data.


This is the primary national location within the USGS Web site for retrieval of water data.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hydrologic Engineering Center contains numerous modeling programs available for download, including HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS.


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates hundreds of dams and waterrelated facilities throughout the American West. Access to data and information begins at this Web site.


The National Weather Service’s Office of Hydrologic Development contains current stream information as well as information on past flood events.


This Hydrologic Information Center of the National Weather Service, Office of Hydrology site contains many hydrologic links.


The Natural Resource Conservation Service is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It offers information on many things, including soils, wetlands, and drought conditions.


GMS stands for Groundwater Modeling System and incorporates a number of groundwater models in a single package. This site explains GMS and offers free downloads of the software.


This site is maintained by consultants who provide support for a variety of hydrologic tools, including GIS, HEC-HMS, and HEC-RAS.


The World Metrological Organization contains many international links to water-related activities.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) at Vicksburg, Mississippi, performs research on many aspects of riverine, coastal, and environmental systems. Some riverine and coastal hydraulics models may be downloaded beginning at this Web site address.


National mapping information and links, provided by USGS.


Most recent Landsat 7 images from all over the world.

Urban Hydrology Links


The Web site of Computational Hydraulics International provides links, publications, software, and other products related to stormwater and urban hydrology. CHI maintains very valuable list-servers (Internet discussion groups) for the following models: EPANET (a water distribution model), HEC models, HSPF, SWMM, and WASP (a receiving water quality model).


This database provides access to best management practice (BMP) performance data in a standardized format for approximately 100 BMP studies conducted since the mid-1980s. The database was developed by the Urban Water Resources Research Council (UWRRC) of ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The Stormwater Manager’s Resource Center is designed specifically for stormwater practitioners, local government officials, and others who need technical assistance on stormwater management issues.


Although this Web site has a Florida focus, the Stormwater News site provides many links to related Web sites, publications, conferences, and ongoing stormwater-related activities. Some publications may be downloaded.


The Texas Nonpoint Source Book is a Web site designed to provide stormwater management information to public works officials and other interested parties in Texas and elsewhere.

Watersheds and the Environment


This Riparian Net Web site was created to meet the science and management needs of professionals doing riparian research.


Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results (WATERS) is a tool that unites water quality information previously available only on individual state agency homepages and at several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web sites. WATERS links several databases to provide watershed information in a map-based format.


The Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is an organization devoted to helping professionals in their water and environmental-related careers.

Local and Regional Hydrology Links

Many Web sites exist that address the weather or hydrology of a specific region as opposed to nationwide. A few representative sites have been listed here. While they may not be pertinent to the area the reader is in, they often contain links to other geographical regions and are interesting sites in and of themselves.


This site was developed by Rice University to warn of possible flooding in Brays Bayou, flooding that could have serious consequences for not just Rice, but also for the Texas Medical Center and other parts of downtown Houston. The site offers real-time NEXRAD radar, rainfall amounts across the watershed, and stream flows.


The Harris County Office of Emergency Management serves Houston, Texas. Rainfall data can be plotted from various rain gages, and stream flow and gage height data can be accessed as well.


Louisiana State University’s Atlas project provides GIS data for all of the state of Louisiana.


Florida is divided into five water management districts. The South Florida Water Management District is the oldest and largest and includes a massive amount of information about the water and environment of South Florida and the Everglades.


The Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS), a division of the Texas Water Development Board, is the state’s clearinghouse for natural resources data.


Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center, provided by NOAA and NWS.


This Web site of the Northwest River Forecast Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the starting point for retrieval of current information about surface water conditions, including river stages and flows, in the Pacific Northwest.


The Oregon Climate Service provides downloadable current and archival precipitation and other weather data for Oregon.


The Bonneville Power Administration provides extensive information on the management and environmental aspects of the Columbia River and its tributaries.


The Northwest Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encompasses the Columbia and Missouri River Basins. A wealth of data and other information about these watersheds may be obtained, starting at this Web site.

Direct Links to Federal Models and Software


HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, UNET, and other models developed at the Hydrologic Engineering Center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be downloaded or referenced from this primary Web site.


State-of-the-art statistical software and several simulation models may be downloaded from this site of the USGS, including software for flood frequency analysis, the HSPF model, and FEQ (Full Equations Model for river hydraulics). A link to USGS ground water models and software is provided, from which models such as MODFLOW may be downloaded.


Software for backwater analysis (WSPRO), culvert design, and other highway-related hydrology and hydraulics software can be downloaded from this Web site of the Federal Highway Administration.


This National Resources Conservation Service Web site provides for downloading the current version of TR-55 (the “SCS model”) for urban areas, as well as other software.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling (CEAM) distributes several models and software packages for analysis of environmental data. This Web site provides access to several simulation models, including HSPF, SWMM (1994 version), and WASP as well as statistical software and various reports in electronic format.


The most current version of EPA SWMM is available at this Oregon State University Web site. The model download is a cooperative version between Oregon State University and Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc., and is not an “official” EPA release.


The National Weather Service’s FLDWAV model performs dynamic routing of natural and dam-break floods in natural rivers. FLDWAV incorporates and replaces the NWS DWOPER model, and is available at this Web site.


Other hydrologic software and models developed by the NWS Office of Hydrologic Development can be accessed from this Web site.


Software related to floodplain definition is provided or linked as part of the Flood Hazard Mapping activity of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program.


Dr. Bedient uses the book in teaching his courses on surface water hydrology. More resources, including powerpoint lectures, spreadsheet hydrologic applications, a course syllabus, and course project information may be found on the course webpage, and freely used in designing your courses.


Instructor Resources | Errata | Links | Dr. Bedient’s Course | Prentice-Hall Book Website

For more information, contact Anthony Holder