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Water Studies: Websites

Suggested sources for information on Water Studies

Websites for Water Data - Michigan and the U.S.

Website Evaluation

Have you seen the cartoon showing a dog sitting at a computer monitor?  The message:  anyone can post anything they want on the Web! This is a weaknesses and a strength.  It is a strength because the Internet allows everyone to have a voice and it supports the democratic principle of free speech. At the same time, this is a weakness because it means people without qualifications, without knowledge can post information on the Internet. The burden for website evaluation rests with the user.

When reviewing a website and determining whether or not to use the page as a source for your academic assignments, consider these criteria:

Authority-always take time to examine who is behind the website. Questions to ask include: 

  •  Who is the website author?  Is contact information provided?  Are qualifications given?

Objectivity-determine if the website is free from bias.  Consider the following:

  • Is the site promoting a particular perspective on the topic?  Is the information one sided? Who is the intended audience?

Quality-examine the website information and its sources. Look for the following:

  • Is the information presented supported by references and citations? Is the topic discussed thoroughly and completely?

Currency-quality sites are regularly reviewed and updated if necessary.  Be sure a site includes the following: 

  • Date when the site was create and date when last updated.

Domain Name-a site domain provides a clue about the validity of the site.   Check for the domain:

  • Government (.gov) and Education (.edu) sites are usually legitmate as they are associated with reputable institutions.
  • Organization (.org) and Network (.net) sites are sometimes usable, but evaluation is vital as they may be biased.
  • Commerical (.com) sites are often geared toward selling a product or service and are often not good academic sources.

Explore these websites for more information on evaluating websites:

Evaluating Web Pages
(UC Berkeley)

Good, the Bad & the Ugly

ICYouSee: T is for Thinking
(Ithica College)

Reports and Background on Water Issues

Weather and Water Data

Web-based tools for weather and water:

Michigan Enviro-Weather - a graphical tool for displaying current and historic weather data specific to this region (temperature and rainfall, soil conditions, degree day data and comparisons, and forecasts)

National Snow Analyses - raw data and 2- and 3-D maps of snow from NOAA; includes snow depth, snow-water equivalents, snow melt, surface sublimation, and non-snow precipitation; use tools to zoom and display near-realtime data

National Weather Service - useful for radar and forecasts for the entire US, including maritime forecasts