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New Mexico Water Data Initiative

3 mins read

Key facts

Service providers:

New Mexico Water Data Initiative 

Open Data Portal, UX/UI Design, CKAN Hosting & Support

September 2021 - Present

Work we’ve done New Mexico Water Data 

Brief summary of the project

The project offers a compelling case for how Datopian's expertise transformed New Mexico's Water Data Initiative by upgrading their CKAN portal, providing improved functionality, accessibility, and design to efficiently manage and share water data for better water management and planning.

Exclamation mark pointing the problem

New Mexico's existing CKAN portal was underutilized and challenging to maintain in-house, with outdated security measures and limited interoperability, making it difficult for users to access and navigate the vast water data resources.

Interrogation mark pointing the need

The client required a robust, secure, and user-friendly CKAN portal, with seamless data catalog interoperability, improved layout, and design to ensure water data accessibility for effective water management and planning.

Checkmark pointing the solution

Datopian migrated the client's CKAN instance to their cloud, upgraded security patches, implemented Data Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT) for enhanced interoperability, and redesigned the portal's homepage for improved usability. The upgraded portal now facilitates easy access to datasets on Google Datasets Search, ensuring efficient water data management for New Mexico's Water Data Initiative.

Main technologies & tools used

Google Dataset Search


In recent times, owing to climate change and other factors, water resources around the world are changing and deteriorating. It is therefore imperative to judiciously manage this finite resource that is integral to human survival.

The state of New Mexico in the United States through the implementation of the Water Data Act 2019, is on a mission to build a modern, agile water data infrastructure  by collating its widely distributed data on water from other state agencies such as Office of State Engineer (OSE), Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), Environment Department (NMED) and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and integrating it all in a central and accessible repository for its inhabitants, for water management and planning purposes.

The situation

Before approaching Datopian, the client had an existing CKAN site. However, they realized they were not utilizing its full potential and maintaining the portal on their own was not feasible. As the leading providers of CKAN, the client therefore contracted our services to help give them the best of functionality for their data portal as well as enhance its design.

The criteria

The client wanted us to host and upgrade their CKAN Portal to provide optimum security, as well as provide some functionalities to truly make their data easily accessible the true CKAN way. In point of fact, what they wanted were:

  • Migrate their data portal to our cloud;
  • Upgrade the data portal with the latest security patches;
  • Provide data catalog interoperability to expose their data catalog for other catalogs;
  • Improve the overall layout and design of the data portal.

The solution

The first step was to transfer the client’s existing CKAN instance to our cloud and reconfigure things to get it up and running.

To expose the client’s data catalog, we sought to implement Data Catalog Vocabulary(DCAT) to facilitate indexing of the data catalog on Google Datasets Search.

A team, consisting of representatives from both the client and Datopian, engaged in a design workshop to discuss the current look and feel of the CKAN site and plan a revamp. A mockup of the homepage was designed by Datopian and once approved by the client, implemented.

The outcome 

Migrating the client’s CKAN instance to our cloud gave us the chance to provide them with the latest security patches by upgrading from CKAN version 2.8.2 to version 2.8.9.

Also, through the implementation of DCAT, the client’s datasets are now publicly available and easily accessible on Google Datasets Search

Datopian rebuilt the client’s data portal homepage to enhance the layout and make it easily and quickly navigable. Below are some pictures that show the before and after of the data portal homepage.

Previous Homepage | BEFORE

Previous Homepage

Current Homepage | AFTER!

Current Homepage

Current Homepage

See the website live here.

What’s next?

This is just the beginning of our partnership with New Mexico Water Data Initiative  to help them achieve their mission through the use of CKAN. Datopian hopes to engage with them further in the future to provide the best functionality for their CKAN site and to improve the design and layout of the other pages.

We are the CKAN experts.

Datopian are the co-creators, co-stewards, and one of the main developers of CKAN. We design, develop and scale CKAN solutions for everyone from government to the Fortune 500. We also monitor client use cases for data to ensure that CKAN is responding to genuine challenges faced by real organizations.

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