USGS Long-Term Water Monitoring Networks

Science Center Objects

“USGS long-term streamgages and groundwater wells are like a fine wine…they get better with age!”

The accurate, long-term monitoring networks of SAWSC provide valuable data in real-time and historical perspective to compare that data to.  The longer a monitoring location is in operation, the more valuable it becomes, since more statistical comparisons can be performed.  Our field technicians continuously make field measurements  and maintain these networks.

USGS Long-Term Water Monitoring Networks

 “USGS long-term streamgages and groundwater wells are like a fine wine…they get better with age!”

The accurate, long-term monitoring networks of SAWSC provide valuable data in real-time and historical perspective to compare that data to.  The longer a monitoring location is in operation, the more valuable it becomes, since more statistical comparisons can be performed.  Our field technicians continuously make field measurements and maintain these networks.

  • Streamflow (discharge) data are crucial for modeling, forecasting, and statistical analysis.  These data help properly size a culvert, determine how high a bridge must be to withstand high waters, allow water resource engineers to manage a basin’s water supply, and forecasters predict flood crests.
  • Precipitation  data are used to detect the first threats of floods and droughts, and benefit the agricultural community in managing their crops.
  • Groundwater levels provide indicators of available water supplies and drought resiliency.
  • Water-quality data, both discrete (single point) and continuously collected, allow for analysis of constituent loadings (how much?), effects of land use change on our rivers, and detection of spills and pollutants in our waterways and aquifers.
  • Water use data are synthesized and reported nationally on a 5-year basis.
  • We also augment many locations with additional value-added information, such as water temperature at recreational locations, meteorological sensors on lakes and the coast, and rivercams at sites that have high public interest or flood risk.

Statistics calculated from the basic dataset provide even more value, including:

Once at-site statistics are available, then regionalization trends to determine streamflow estimates where there is currently no gage can be accomplished.  These regionalization projects are usually updated once a decade and displayed on the USGS Streamstats webpage.

More information:

USGS National Water Information System:      Georgia  |  North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.
USGS NWIS Mapper:                                       Georgia  |  North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.
USGS Current Conditions:                              Georgia  |  North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.
USGS Water Watch (Streamflow):                    Georgia  |  North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.
USGS Groundwater Watch:                             Georgia  |  North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.
USGS Water Quality Watch:                            Georgia  |   North Carolina   |   South Carolina   |  U.S.