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How do we benefit from USGS streamgages?

Information on the flow of rivers is a vital national asset that safeguards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS is the federal agency responsible for operating a network of about 7,000 streamgages nationwide.

Data from this network are used by water managers, emergency responders, utilities, environmental agencies, universities, consulting firms, and recreation enthusiasts.

A few examples of the many uses for streamgage data include:

  • Planning, designing, operating, and maintaining the Nation’s multipurpose water management systems. 
  • Issuing flood warnings to protect lives and reduce property damage. 
  • Designing highways and bridges. 
  • Mapping floodplains. 
  • Protecting water quality and regulating pollutant discharges. 
  • Managing water rights and transboundary water issues. 

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