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Stream Depths, Flow Rates, and Forecasts

USGS Water Watch Obtain stream stage data from the USGS WaterWatch

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.

USGS NWISWeb Obtain stream stage data from the USGS NWISWeb

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.

USDA/NRCS Obtain stream forecast data from the USDA/NRCS

The USDA/NRCS offers stream forecast data as well as current water supply maps.

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.

Stream Data Tips