What is the Water Atlas?

The Water Atlas Program was designed to meet the needs of local governments by utilizing technology to connect multiple stakeholders in water resource management. The Atlas serves as a one-stop data warehouse, providing unprecedented access to a wealth of water resource information. This information is presented in a variety of ways, including interactive graphs, tables, maps and graphics, so as to be understandable to both water research professionals and those people simply interested in learning more about the water resources within their area.

The goal of the Water Atlas is to help communities make informed decisions
by providing up-to-date water resource information.

The Water Atlas is funded through sponsoring organizations, including city, county and regional government agencies. For a full list of all available Atlases and the partnering sponsors, please click the Partners link above. The Water Atlas Program was created by the USF Water Institute located within the University of South Florida. Originating in 1997 as a simple, static website designed to display information on the lakes within Hillsborough County, Florida, the Water Atlas has expanded both functionally and geographically to become a dynamic, database-driven warehouse disseminating data for all waterbody types throughout the entire state of Florida.

The Water Atlas currently has information for over 7,700 waterbodies, including data from more than 36,000 unique sampling stations provided by over 300 data sources.

The amount of information available within the Water Atlas is too vast to list in its entirety. Data is imported directly from many of the federal and state agencies that collect it, including the United States Geological Survey, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and local Water Management Districts, such as SWFWMD and SJRWMD. Atlas sponsors also work very closely with Water Institute staff to ensure that data they collect locally, along with data collected through local volunteer efforts, are imported, quality controlled, and made available through the Water Atlas. Water Institute field scientists also collect unique data, including vegetation inventories and bathymetric assessments that are included on the Water Atlas.

Data available on the Water Atlas dates back to 1907...
New real-time data will have been added by the time you finish reading this page.

To learn more about the Water Atlas program, we recommend visiting one of our sponsored sites and discover the wealth of information available to you firsthand. The areas within Florida currently maintaining a Water Atlas are outlined in the image below.

Click the above map to access our new Advanced Mapping Application, where you can view all the waterbodies that are included within the Water Atlas program. Clicking on a waterbody within the mapping tool will give you the option of viewing that waterbody's primary Water Atlas page. For more in-depth information about the Water Atlas program, please read the literature below or contact Shawn Landry, Director of the USF Water Institute.