Publication Date: 
February 1997
Veisze, P, K Beardsley, JF Quinn, JH Viers, I Oshima, and MS Byrne. 1997. California's Experience with the River Reach File. 1997 ESRI International User Conference Proceedings. San Diego, CA.

Organized hydrographic information is vital to the success of environmental planning and management. Joint efforts from the USGS and U.S. EPA to produce a spatial base and attribute model, respectively, have resulted in an alpha release of the River Reach File, a national hydrographic standard (RF3-alpha). In California, this represents over 200,000 records of hydrographic features maintained and distributed by the state's Teale GIS Technology Center in ARC/INFO format for use by public agencies and the private sector. This paper summarizes the key events, beginning in 1992, with the California Department of Fish and Game's GIS program, which have led to the revision and correction of over 60,000 RF3 records in cooperation with federal, state, University of California at Davis (UCD), and private entities. The detail in the revisions ranges from complete hydrograhic address enumeration in portions of the Eel River basin, to statewide reconciliation of USGS hydrographic names with the RF1 and RF2 names. Benefits in addition to the strong cooperative relationships identified include the enabling of Internet-based search and query capabilities by state-level programs such as the California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) and the California Rivers Assessment (CARA). Future development of RF3 will focus on empowering individuals and watershed interest groups with a robust spatial and attribute standard for hydrographic information of all types, extents, and applications.