Thursday, June 05, 2008

Data on stream flow, water quality available online

Wondering if last night's rain was a gully-wusher upstream? "The U.S. Geological Survey now offers real-time maps and data on surface water quality across the U.S.," Mark Schaver, computer-assisted reporting director for The Courier-Journal of Louisville writes on his blog,

Schaver cites ResourceShelf, which says, "WaterQualityWatch is a new USGS Web site that provides access to real-time water-quality monitor data collected in surface waters throughout the United States as part of the USGS mission to describe water sources. Measurements include stream flow, water temperature, specific conductance, acidity and alkalinity, dissolves oxygen and turbidity. These measurements are available at more than 1,300 sites in streams with watersheds as small as a few square miles to more than 1 million square miles in the Mississippi River as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. Continuous real-time water-quality data are used for decisions regarding drinking water, water treatment, regulatory programs, recreation, and public safety."

This map shows the array of stream gauges, showing flow; the redder the dot, the lower the flow. To view data from a particular monitoring site, click here.

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