Water Watcher Plasmoid
Plasma 4 Extensions

Water Watcher (QML Plasmoid)

Water Watcher is a QML Plasmoid that displays the most recent real-time water data from the USGS Instantaneous Values Web Service. Data readings are recorded every 15 minutes and transmitted to the service hourly. Water data is available from thousands of sites around the United States.


* KDE 4.7+ (http://www.kde.org)
* WaterIV Data Engine v0.3.1 (plasma-dataengine-wateriv)
* WaterSites Data Engine v0.1.0 (plasma-dataengine-watersites) (optional)

This plasmoid requires installation of the WaterIV Data Engine (included in the ALL download or available separately). The WaterSites Data Engine is optional but is required to "Search for Sites" from within the plasmoid.


1) Install the required data engines.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake kdelibs5-dev
$ cd plasma-dataengine-wateriv-0.3.1/
$ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr ./
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ kbuildsycoca4

Repeat this process for the WaterSites data engine.
Note: when upgrading from a previous version it may be necessary to logout and login for the change to be recognized.

2) Install the Water Watcher plasmoid.

$ plasmapkg -i waterwatcher-0.3.2.plasmoid

OR use

Add Widgets -> Get New Widgets -> Install from local file


To configure the plasmoid you must provide a valid site code as the 'data source'.

You can search for site codes from within the plasmoid when the WaterSites data engine is installed. Double clicking an entry will use it as a source. Long clicking an entry will append it to the existing source.

You can also use the NSWIS Mapper (http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/nwisgmap/index.html) to find nearby site codes.

Valid data sources include:
* a single site code or comma separated list of site codes
* a fully formed request url or a partial url (everything after the ?)

Examples: a single code: 01646500
list of codes: 01646500,09506000
a partial url: sites=01646500&parameterCd=00060,00065

You can use the url generation tool to create request urls:


4 years ago

0.3.2 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Add UI: added "Any County" and "Any Agency" filters to site search dialog.
* Add UI: net_error dialog now allows immediately retrying failed connections.
* BugFix: plasmoid remembers index of displayed timeseries between launches.
* BugFix: #17; fixed a crash occuring when switching between recent sources on unconfigured instances of the plasmoid.

0.3.1 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Add UI: the "recent value" tab now displays up to the last four values.
* BugFix: #16; colors and theme SVGs used; info displays correctly with various themes.
* Engine: now requires plasma-dataengine-wateriv-0.3.1 (engine bugfix: #15).

0.3.0 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Add UI: a site info_panel that displays id, lat, lon, and other site codes.
* BugFix: issue 14; plasmoid supports multiple qualifiers per value.
* BugFix: issue 9; plasmoid keyboard shortcut toggles visibility of the dialog.
* Add UI: a filter panel that constructs valid site search queries; available search filters are state, county, agency, and site type.
* Add UI: a site search panel that interacts with the USGS Site Web Service.
* Engine: (optional) "site search" requires plasma-dataengine-watersites-0.1.0.
* Engine: now requires plasma-dataengine-wateriv-0.3.0 (engine rewrite).

0.2.1 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Add UI: the configuration tab remembers recent sources (last ten) and allows switching between them with the up / down keys.
* Add UI: a net_error indicator that is displayed next to values that are from cache; a net_error dialog that shows a more detailed error message.
* BugFix: display / retain cached values when update results in network error.
* BugFix: polling interval reads correctly from config (units are mins not ms).
* BugFix: engine updates are recognized immediately and not after next update.
* Engine: now requires plasma-dataengine-wateriv-0.2.1 (engine update bugfix).

0.2.0 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Add UI: a "configuration" tab that allows changing the data source and viewing errors when the engine rejects a data source.
* Add UI: a "recent value" tab that displays additional information and allows switching between data series with the mouse or arrow keys.
* Add UI: a tabbed dialog that is toggled on single click on the plasmoid.
* Mod UI: switching between data series now done with long click on plasmoid.
* Mod UI: improved error reporting; major refactoring of UI into components.
* BugFix: displays all values in a series instead of only first set.
* Engine: now requires plasma dataengine-wateriv-0.2.0.

0.1.0 : plasma-applet-waterwatcher

* Basic configuration provided by plasmoid settings dialog.
* UI allows switching between returned values with single click.
* Initial release: a basic plasmoid that displays the most recent value.

4 years ago


Would it be possible to have it display the temperature in fahrenheit and river name on top?


4 years ago


I would love to see a version of this using data from http://levels.wkcc.org/

..perhaps a version that uses his "Build your own levels" page that can pull his data & graphs into the plasma GUI (click on the water levels in the charts to see the graph)


4 years ago


I would love to see a version of this using data from http://levels.wkcc.org/

..perhaps a version that uses his "Build your own levels" page that can pull his data & graphs into the plasma GUI (click on the water levels in the charts to see the graph)


4 years ago


This is definitely possible but after giving it some thought I don't think I am going to pursue it.

I am pretty sure the majority of the data displayed at http://levels.wkcc.org/ comes from the same source used by the plasmoid, with the exception of the estimates for streams without gauges. There is also the issue of bandwidth. The plasmoid has the potential of using up a lot of it and I am not sure the boating club that runs the levels site would appreciate the traffic.

Providing a nice interactive graph of the data is one my primary goals. Unfortunately a QML plot component isn't available and probably won't be until the release of Qt 5 (a year away). Until then I might try to provide some kind of static graph that is generated by the data engine but I don't think that is a very ideal solution.

I am open to other suggestions for features, especially if they help make the plasmoid more useful for boaters.



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updated May 27 2012
added Mar 28 2012
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