Element 4 - National Hydrography Data Set (NHD) Stewardship

The NHD and Watershed Boundary Dataset are used to portray surface water on The National Map. The NHD represents the drainage network with features such as rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds, coastline, dams, and stream gages.

A Memorandum of Understanding establishes the stewardship of the NHD in Missouri between the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Geospatial Hydrography Office, the Geospatial Technology Operations Center, and the department. This agreement is entered into under the authority of RSMo 644 establishing state policy and Clean Water Commission powers and providing the department with the ability to work with a wide range of issues and partners. The department coordinates with USGS and respective NHD and Watershed Boundary Dataset data stewards in the surrounding contiguous border-states of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois.

Stewardship memorandums of agreement contribute significantly to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and National Geospatial Program Office goals. The department began update of the NHD in 2010. Additional updates to the database have been incorporated into the national NHD database and become part of The National Map. The MOU provides information on the NHD stewardship process, including purpose, scope, responsibilities and implementation.

The department has been using the NHD to support a growing number of business processes and has launched a Web application designed to automate applying for and obtaining National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

The application relies on the Watershed Boundary dataset, NHD Flowline, and NHD Waterbody features to determine outfall locations in each watershed and to determine which NHD features receive flow from those outfalls. In addition, the application determines the distance from each outfall to the receiving water body.

The WQS feature classes (discussed previously in this Element) are created using the NHD as the reference layer. In order to incorporate changes made as part of the stewardship, the NHD is downloaded quarterly and synchronized with the specific WQS.