National Hydrography Dataset

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The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are digital geospatial datasets that map the surface water of the United States and are a part of The National Map. Together, the NHD and WBD, along with data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), are processed to create the NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR).

National Hydrography Infrastucture

National Hydrography Infrastucture

The National Hydrography Infrastructure is an integrated system enabling the referencing, discovery, and analysis of water-related information for the Nation.

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National Hydrography Data Products

National Hydrography Data Products

The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) defines the areal extent of surface water drainage to a point, accounting for all land and surface areas.

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National Hydrography Benefits & Applications

National Hydrography Benefits & Applications

The NHDPlus HR is a scalable geospatial hydrography framework built from the high resolution NHD, the Watershed Boundary Dataset, and 3D Elevation Program Data.

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The NHD represents the nation’s drainage networks and related features, including rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds, glaciers, coastlines, dams, and streamgages. The NHD High Resolution, at 1:24,000 scale or better, is the most up-to-date and detailed hydrography dataset for the nation (please visit the NHD Medium Resolution page for information about accessing the legacy 1:100,000 scale dataset). The WBD represents drainage areas of the country in eight nested levels.

Together, the NHD and WBD, along with data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), are processed to create the NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR), a networked geospatial framework of stream reaches, elevation-based catchment areas, flow surfaces, and value-added attributes that enhance stream network navigation, analysis, and data display.

Direct download links and web-based map service information are available from the Links to Data Products and Map Servicespage. Downloads via interactive map are available from The National Map Download viewer, and all web-based map services are listed at The National Map Service Endpoints page.

Join our community! We communicate monthly through the NHD Newsletters and NHD/WBD Advisory Calls, and hold special seminars and workshops as well. Please visit the Contact Us tab on the left for more information.