Stream Depths, Flow Rates, and Forecasts
USGS Water Watch
Water Watch offers real-time stage and discharge data for about 3,000 stream gages. Plus, it is linked to NWIS-Web, which furnishes surface and ground water data, as well as water quality data.
- Easy-to-use graphical map allows accessing data for a gaging station in a couple of clicks. A list of all stations within a state can be quickly accessed.
NWISWeb offers an extensive amount of data, including surface and ground water data, as well as water quality data.
- Users can search for a gaging station by its name, ID number, State, Drainage Basin, and more. Use this site if you need advanced search capabilities.
The USDA/NRCS offers stream forecast data as well as current water supply maps.
Rivers, Lakes, and Seas
WebGIS provides data in shapefile and standard DLG formats
ESRI Census TIGER 1995
ESRI and the U.S. Census Bureau offer hydrographic data in shapefile format for ArcView or ARC/INFO
The USGS/EPA offers hydrographic data for each CU (cataloging unit) in the US in either ESRI/ARC or USGS/SDTS format.
Stream Data Overview
Stream stage simply refers to the water depth in a stream or river. The water depth is related to the flowrate and rating curves (plots of stage vs. flowrate) have been created for many streams and rivers. Available data sources can give real-time (i.e., current to the moment) stream-stage data whereas other sources give historical figures along with statistical data such as median flowrates etc. Some examples are given below for the Provo River in Utah. Another important flow data type are flow-duration curves (also called reliability curves) which give engineers an idea of what flowrates can be expected a certain percentage of the time. An annual hydrograph is required to create a flow-duration curve which is shown in the third figure. Streamflow data used for forecasting is also available for specific streams or for regions in general.
Hydrographic Waterbody Overview
By definition, hydrography is the study and survey of rivers, streams, creeks, springs, wells, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, oceans, seas, bays and estuaries with respect to their tides, flow characteristics, and navigability. Much of the available hydrographic information is in a format compatible with a GIS such as ArcView. Locating streams and other water bodies may be essential in creating a good model.
Stream Data Tips
- Help – Obtain stream stage data from USGS NWISWeb?
- Help – Obtain real-time stream stage data from USGS WaterWatch?
- Help – Obtain stream forecast data from the USDA/NRCS?
Hydrographic Waterbody Tips
- How do I obtain hydrographic data from WebGIS?
- How do I obtain hydrographic data from the USGS/EPA?
- How do I obtain hydrographic data from ESRI Census TIGER 1995?
- How do I decompress data files?
- How do I import hydrographic data into WMS?
- How do I import a standard DLG file into WMS?