WaterNet: The NASA Water Cycle Solutions Network

PI: Paul Houser, George Mason U.
co-PIs: D. Belvedere, B. Imam, R. Schiffer, C. Schlosser, H. Gupta, C. Welty, C. Vörösmarty, D. Matthews, R. Lawford

Funding Source: NASA (11/1/06 - 10/31/09)

This project will develop WaterNet: The NASA Water cycle Solutions Network, which has as a goal to improve and optimize the sustained ability of water cycle researchers, stakeholders, organizations and networks to interact, identify, harness, and extend NASA research results to augment decision support tools and meet national needs. WaterNet will be developed by engaging relevant NASA water cycle research resources and community-of-practice organizations, to develop what we term an “actionable database” that can be used to communicate and connect NASA Water cycle research Results (NWRs) towards the improvement of water- related Decision Support Tools (DSTs). An actionable database includes enough sufficient knowledge about its nodes and their heritage so that connections between these nodes are identifiable and robust. Recognizing the many existing highly valuable water-related science and application networks, we are focusing the balance of our efforts on enabling their interoperability in a solutions network context. We are initially focusing on identification, collection, and analysis of the two end points, these being the NWRs and water related DSTs. We will then develop strategies to connect these two end points via innovative communication strategies, improved user access to NASA resources, improved water cycle research community appreciation for DST requirements, improved policymaker, management and stakeholder knowledge of NASA research and application products, and improved identification of pathways for progress. Finally, we will develop relevant benchmarking and metrics, to understand the network’s characteristics, to optimize its performance, and to establish sustainability. The WaterNet will deliver numerous pre-evaluation reports that will identify the pathways for improving the collective ability of the water cycle community to
routinely harness NWRs that address crosscutting water cycle challenges.

Our tightly-knit team is composed of leading experts in NASA water cycle science, the water sector user community, and organizational connections and communications design and optimization. The team represents a strategically placed set of national and international organizations that will partner to harness NWRs to characterize and improve networks that sustain NPA solutions. Already established partnerships represent a cross-section of individual and networked NWRs and DSTs from government, private, and academic domains, that will enable us to quickly establish an operational solutions network, entrain more partner nodes and networks, and move WaterNet toward self-sustainability.