GSDA:Obtaining Stream Data from the USGS WaterWatch

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Water Watch allows users to compare stream flow data nationwide, and to quickly access stream data for individual gage stations. The web site's interface permits choosing between real-time data (the default), recent daily data, an assortment of historical surface water data, and more. Refer to the following table for some brief details on the three types of data:

  Real-Time Recent (Daily) Streamflow (historical)
Availability Period 31 days prior to latest recording 18 months prior to latest recording Period of Record for each site
Recording Increment 5 to 60 minutes (mostly 15 min.) daily average daily average


Steps for obtaining the stream-flow data:

  1. Go to the Water Watch website.
  2. Click on the state of choice.
  3. Click on a gage station point (notice that if you hold the mouse pointer over a station, information pops up regarding that station, including the station name in all-caps).
    Alternatively, you can click the "List all stations" option under the state map in order to select the from a list of all the gaging stations in the state, grouped by river basin name.
    Hint: When viewing the list of all stations in a state, you can quickly search for a station name by using your browser's find tool (select Find on this page... from the Edit menu).
  4. Scroll down the page and examine the discharge data and any other available data, such as gage height (at some gages, precipitation data is also available).
    Note: You can change the way the discharge data is displayed and the number of days of data by choosing different values in the cream-colored table at the top of the page.
    Output Formats available: Graph, Table, Fixed-Width Table, and Tab Separated.