Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

After 25 years serving the public, USGS has published a report about the history, features, and evolution of StreamStats, a web-application developed in Massachusetts.

StreamStats has a map-based user interface where people can find streamflow statistics, including mean flow, 7-day, 10-year low flows, and 1-percent annual exceedance probabilities for flooding.  Flow statistics are calculated from data collected at USGS streamgages, and users can estimate flow statistics for certain sites where there is no current streamgage. These statistics are used to improve a variety of work that protects the public, including bridge and culvert design, land-use zoning related to flooding, and environmental regulations and policy. These data are also commonly used in climate change and water-resource studies. 

An aerial view of a city with an area filled in in yellow.

StreamStats uses geographic information system (GIS) software with digital mapping. Physical scientist Pete Steeves, of the USGS New England Water Science Center, worked on the first iteration of StreamStats with USGS hydrologist Kernell Ries in the early 1990s as a desktop application. They developed tools to process data for elevation, hydrography and watershed boundaries on the application. Steeves is currently a member of the National StreamStats team (2003-present), and Ries led the team from 2003 to 2016.

The first internet-accessible StreamStats application was released in 1999 for Massachusetts. It filled a gap in knowledge for the general public and professionals working in water resources and engineering. StreamStats’ tools and capabilities allowed users to quickly delineate basins, compute basin characteristics, and estimate statistics at project locations.  The value of these tools was quickly recognized, prompting a national approach to implementing StreamStats, which has resulted in hundreds of statewide and regional projects across the United States.

The National StreamStats team at USGS hosts the applications and datasets, provides training and resources, and develops best practices for data processing. Over the last 25 years, the National StreamStats team has continued to update and increase the application’s functionality to meet user needs – including improving data access for decision-making, permitting, and infrastructure design in and near streams across the country.

To learn more about StreamStats, visit the USGS StreamStats webpage. To read the full USGS report on StreamStats’ 25-year history, visit our publication page to download the report. 

Please email to connect with the National StreamStats team.

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.