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Watershed Rapid Assessment Program (WRAP)

Watershed protection programs aim to maintain or restore the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of waterbodies. The development and implementation of these watershed plans require analysis of watershed conditions which are both spatially and temporally variable. Therefore, assessment of current and historic data and information is vital for continuously updating management plans in response to changing land use, climate, and watershed conditions. The Watershed Rapid Assessment Program (WRAP) is used to extract, organize, and analyze data and information at various watershed scales, including HUC 12, HUC 10, and HUC8 levels, for readily available geospatial characteristics as well as water quantity and quality. These characteristics include current and historic land use, population, climate, climate projections, stream discharge, and stream water quality to name a few. The integrated assessment of watershed health is then broken down into six primary attributes; landscape condition, habitat, hydrology, geomorphology, water quality, and biological condition. Utilizing the extracted data, the WRAP tool calculates a number of indicators for these attributes (e.g. median summer nitrate concentration as an indicator of water quality) to create an overall summary of the watershed condition. This overall condition can then be used at a state-wide scale to prioritize management actions of the state’s watersheds. The tool will be demonstrated for water quality management use in the South Platte River Basin (SPRB) in Colorado.

Arabi, M, T. Wible, and M. Smith. 2015. Watershed Rapid Assessment Program (WRAP) Presentation. 2015 Colorado Watershed Assembly Conference.

User Guide

Non-Login Site:

The non-log-in site allows a user to access and analyze watershed data from numerous databases. This site begins with the map interface, this tab contains tools to define an area of interest or ‘watershed’ to analyze, the data you wish to extract, and a ‘generate report’ button which opens a new window and runs the requested watershed summary report.
  1. Define a Watershed:
    • You can create a watershed using point and line buffers, a polygon, a rectangle, existing polygon layers that you have uploaded, or within a known boundary (county, HUC8, 10, 12 watershed boundaries)
  2. Extract Data:
    • Climate and Snowpack
      • Climate Projection: Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) Statistical Downscaling Method
      • Historic/Current Climate: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Daily Global Historical Climatology network (GHCN-Daily) and Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL)
      • PRISM: Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM)
    • Environmental Resources
      • Wetlands and Riparian Zones: Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) wetland potential conservation areas and networks of conservation areas
    • Hydrology and Streams
      • Historic/Current Stream Discharge: USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), U.S. EPA STORET, and Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) stream flow monitoring station data
      • Historic/Current Water Quality: USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and U.S. EPA STORET stream water quality monitoring station data
      • Hydrography: USGS National Map viewer’s Hydrography database of interactive maps of watershed boundaries, flow lines, waterbodies, and more
      • Impaired and Use-Limited Waterbodies (U.S. EPA 303d): U.S. EPA impaired and use-limited waterbodies 2012 report of impairments
      • Waterbody Classification (U.S. EPA 305b): U.S. EPA national water quality inventory 2012 report of designated uses
      • Water Quality Standards: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Regulation 31 proposed stream standards
      • Water Rights: Colorado Decision Support System’s (CDSS) Hydrobase database of diversion structures and water rights
    • Geology and Soils
      • Soils: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) Database
    • Groundwater
      • Historic/Current Groundwater: aquifer extent/type and USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) groundwater monitoring station data
    • Land Surface
      • Land Use: USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) and USGS National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD)
      • Population: 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census
      • Topography: National Hydrography Dataset (NHDPlus Version 2) 30-meter Digital Elevation Map (DEM)
    • Other
      • Atmospheric Deposition: National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) National Trends Network atmospheric deposition monitoring station data
      • Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs): Colorado permitted/registered CAFO summary
      • Wastewater Treatment Plants: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Regulation 85 WWTP monitoring location data
  3. Generate Report:
    • This button will open a new tab and run the watershed data analysis summary for the area of interest.

Login Site:

The login site has all the features of the non-log-in site, but also allows users to add new stream flow and water quality monitoring sites that are not in the NWIS or STORET databases and upload and analyze data for these new sites in the same manner.
  1. Login to an existing eRAMS account or create a new one
  2. Go to “My Account” at the top of the page, then click on “Project” on the left hand side
  3. Click “Create Project” and provide a name for it. Select “Watershed Rapid Assessment Program” as the “Project Type”. Then click “Okay”
  4. This project is now highlighted in your list of projects as the active project. Click “GIS/Analysis” at the top to go to the map interface to access the tool.
  5. Now you can follow the instructions for the non-login site to access the watershed rapid assessment program
    • A benefit of this version of the tool that is you can upload and store shapefiles with the project so that you can define your area of interest and keep it, where as the non-login site which opens a new blank version of the tool each time you visit it.

Further Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can the WRAP tool summarize an area upstream of a point on a stream instead of an entire HUC watershed?

A: Yes, however, it will first require delineating the watershed through another tool on eRAMS.

If you go to the toolbox tools_32 and select “Hydrology -> Watershed Delineation”, this will open an interface that can delineate at watershed from a point on a map. The “Watershed Extraction” option is the simplest version and will ask you to highlight the area around the watershed (in order to extract a digital elevation map, DEM). Then you will be asked to specify the outlet point at the ‘bottom’ of the watershed. Once the watershed has been delineated, you can select this layer as the WRAP tool’s watershed boundary by selecting “Within Layer Extent” and then selecting the layer you just created.

Q: How do I download the results/data?

A1: At the top of each result section there is a drop down menu (arrow on top right) which contains a link to download the data for the section (i.e. maps for the land use section and csv files for the stream discharge section).

A2: You may use your web browser’s ‘print’ functionality to print this watershed summary into a pdf report or use the link at the bottom to save the report and return to it later.

Q: How do I save an interactive graph?

A: The interactive graphs contain a menu (three grey lines) on the top right of the figure which opens an option to save the graph as any of the provide.

Q: Why can’t I see anything when I go to the map on

A: eRAMS supports the latest two versions of major browser vendors (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari).  Updating your browser to the latest version or switching to one of these browsers should fix any rendering issues.

Data Creation:

  • The data used in the CFA tool is either auto-extracted from the Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) database, USGS’ NWIS database, the U.S. EPA’s STORET/WQX database. The user is also able to upload and use their data alone or in combination with the database data. The user uploaded data must be in a comma separated value (CSV) file.
  • If you wish to use your own data combined with the available USGS or EPA data, upload your file and then check the “Use Uploaded Data” box on the analysis interface and choose whether you desire to analyze your data only or merge it with available USGS/EPA data and then analyze it.

API Notes

WRAP service endpoints can be accessed at two levels, CSIP service endpoints and eRAMS WRAP API endpoints.  The APIs can be used to generate a report or analysis without directly accessing the web tool.  This is useful when clients other than an end user, such as another computer program or mobile application, needs to consume data and analysis from the tool.

CSIP Service Endpoints

The WRAP tool consumes and analyzes data by consuming CSIP service endpoints which exist independently of the tool itself.

To use these service endpoints, consult the existing documentation at:

CSIP WRAP Services

CSIP NLCD Services

CSIP Flow Analysis Services

eRAMS Service Endpoints

The WRAP tool also provides its own API to generate reports programmatically.  When you generate a report from, the job of the user interface is to help you construct a URL that will be used by the tool to then generate a report specific to your needs.  You can build your own WRAP report URL directly in the following format:{“type”:”huc12″, “id”:”140300030502″}&landUse=nass-2014;nlcd-trends;pop&streamsAndRivers=historic;hydrography;waterbody-classification&waterInfrastructure=wtp&climate=trends;historic;PRISM;deposition&topography=topography&environmentalResources=wetlands&waterRights=water-rights&groundwater=groundwater&cafos=cafos&waterQuality=historic-00600 Total nitrogen, water, unfiltered, milligrams per liter — mg/l;impaired;standards&soils=hydgrp&watershedName=My Watershed

The URL above contains an example of how a WRAP report url can be formed using every available category of analysis.  Below is an exhaustive list of URL parameters that you can include when generating a WRAP report.

Parameter Name Type Value Description
 watershed  JSON  {
Provide a watershed by HUC identifier or provide your own well-known-text
 landUse  String






Include land use analysis using NLCD or NASS datasets.

nlcd-trends and nass-trends aggregate data to show decadel change.

pop provides change in population over time.

streams-and-rivers String historic|hydrography|waterbody-classification Include historic, hydrography, or waterbody classification analysis
 waterInfrastructure String  wtp Include water treatment plant analysis
 climate String  historic|trends|PRISM|deposition Include climate data and analysis for historic, trending analysis, PRISM or atmospheric deposition
 topography String  topography Include topography data and analysis
 environmentalResources String  wetlands Include wetlands data and analysis
 waterRights String water-rights Include water rights data and analysis
 groundwater String groundwater Include groundwater data and analysis
cafos String cafos Include confined animal feeding operations data and analysis
waterQuality String historic|impaired|standards Include historic water quality, water impairments, or water quality data and analysis
soils String drainagecl|hydgrp|runoff Include soils drainage class, hydrological group, or runoff potential data and analysis
watershedName String <name> Specify your own watershed name to be used in the report


  1. A REST “get” call to one of the “Endpoints” in the above links for the analyses, will provide an example JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) of the required inputs for the model.
  2. Replace the values of the various inputs with those desired for a specific CDWR, STORET, or USGS stream monitoring station.
  3. A REST “push” call, to the same “Endpoint”, containing the modified JSON object will request a run of the CFA model with the specified inputs
  4. Once finished running, a return JSON will be sent back with a summary of the outputs from the model. An example result JSON is also available at the above links from the CSIP-CFA.