California Water and Environmental  Modeling Forum

Promoting Excellence and Consensus in Water and Environmental Modeling

Technical Workshop
National Hydrography Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset

(in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 8:30 to 4:30pm (Please plan to arrive by 8:15am)
West Yost Associates Training Room
2020 Research Park Dr., Suite 100, Davis, CA 95618

Workshop Fee: $25 for CWEMF members, $50 for non-members, and $10 for students
Refreshments included, lunch not included.

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are digital vector datasets used by geographic information systems (GIS) 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 streamgages. The WBD represents drainage basins as enclosed areas in eight different size categories.

This all-day hands-on workshop will give attendees the experience in how to apply the NHD to various applications involving surface water hydrography. The NHD is built around the ability to query the surface water network for information about the water. For example, is there impaired water upstream of a drinking water intake? What dams affect a streamgage? Or, what fish habitat will be affected by a toxin leaking into a river? The class will give attendees all the information needed to conduct this kind of analysis by thoroughly examining the NHD data structure, including the Watershed Boundary Dataset, and show the out-of-the-box ArcGIS tools that build and analyze this type of data. With only limited GIS skills, the NHD makes it easy to conduct powerful analysis, and with strong GIS skills, you will be able to develop complex capabilities to analyze everything from hydraulics to fisheries biology. The class will also look into the future of the NHD, giving attendees a chance to prepare for the many enhancements that lay ahead. Additional information on NHD and WBD can be found at

Requirements: Workshop participants should have basic skills in ArcGIS and will need to provide their own laptop computers pre-loaded with ArcGIS 10.0 or newer (Basic, Standard, or Advanced.) Those who don’t have access to an ArcGIS license may download and install a free 60-day trial version at The NHD data used in this training will be available for download at the workshop.