In 1797, Thomas Jefferson envisioned a network of weather observers across the nation with an agriculturally oriented mission of defining the weather and climate of the United States. This network of volunteer weather watchers has become an American institution. The program and its history of success continue to arouse the envy of other countries around the globe and it has been acclaimed as the most cost-effective weather data collection network in the world.
Over 200 years after its inception, the data use has expanded and is now used for a myriad of things including water and land management, recreation, environmental impact studies, litigation and insurance, energy production and use, engineering, architectural design and construction, and agriculture and farm management, to mention a few. Approximately $4 trillion of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is reliant on accurate weather data and the Selma Water Works employees directly contribute to that database of weather information.
The (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) is truly the Nation's weather and climate observing network of, by and for the people. The Selma Water Works is a part of a network of more than 11,000 volunteers who take weather observations around the nation. This network of volunteers is absolutely vital to the operations of the United States government and business and industry.