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The Division of Water is the state data steward for the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), acting to improve the accuracy and level of detail of the NHD. LiDAR elevation data, collected as part of the Kentucky From Above program (KYAPED) has been leveraged to achieve this goal. Typical issues addressed by DOW include changes due to human activities (mining, road construction, etc.), stream rechanneling (due to natural and/or human activities) or changes to waterbodies.

The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data representing surface water of the United States and depicts common features such as rivers, streams, lakes, canals and oceans. The NHD is maintained by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and is the surface water component of The National Map.

The NHD is designed to be used in general mapping and in the analysis of surface water systems using GIS. This is possible due to a built-in flow network, allowing traces upstream and downstream from any point on a stream. It also uses a unique addressing system, called reach codes, allowing users to link specific information such as water quality or discharge rates.

Examples of water-related entities which can be referenced to the NHD are industrial discharges, fish habitat, wild rivers and water quality assessments.

The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) defines the areal extent of surface water drainage to a point, accounting for all land and surface areas. Watershed Boundaries are determined solely upon science-based hydrologic principles, not favoring any administrative boundaries or special projects, nor particular program or agency. These boundaries are key to determining what water resources are available in various regions of Kentucky as well as any impacts on those surface waters. These data are used in GIS applications to develop maps and analyze data to better manage resources for the Commonwealth.

You can report an issue with a feature within the NHD/WBD. USGS created a web-based Markup Application which allows anyone with a Gmail account to suggest edits to any NHD/WBD feature.  Suggested edits will be reviewed by the USGS and the NHD or WBD state steward before being approved for incorporation into the NHD/WBD.

At this time the application requires Google Chrome and will not work on other web browsers.

While the Markup Application allows users to suggest a new name for a water feature, a new name must first be approved by the US Board of Geographic Names (BGN). When submitting a suggestion, the BGN recommends including documentation supporting the new/changed name (such as an official map showing the feature name or documents showing historical significance of the proposed name). Upon approval, a new record is created (or updated if the submission is a name change) in the federal Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).