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Access National Hydrography Products

The NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR), National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are available for download and as web-based map services.

Downloading Datasets

Please note - An error occurs to header files of the datasets below during decompression with 7zip. It is recommended that you use Windows Extract or another other software of your choosing to unzip this product.
 

Download Option 1: Downloadable Product Directories

NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR)

The NHDPlus HR data includes a vector and raster component for each geographic area produced. NHDPlus HR vector data is available in file geodatabase (GDB) format, zipped (.zip) to reduce the file size. NHDPlus HR raster data files are available for download as zipped (.7z) files. All NHDPlus HR GDB downloads contain a copy of the NHD and WBD datasets used to produce it, plus additional data specific to the NHDPlus HR dataset.

The first version of the NHDPlus HR is currently available for CONUS, Hawaii, and U.S. Territories, and portions of Alaska. Updates to select areas in CONUS will begin in 2022 and initial production will continue in Alaska.

National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) 

The National Hydrography Dataset is available in shapefile and file geodatabase formats. All NHD downloads contain a copy of the corresponding WBD dataset that is current only to the date the NHD dataset was created. Also, an extract containing only streamgages and dams is available.

Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) 

The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) is available in shapefile and file geodatabase formats

Download Option 2: The National Map Download Viewer

The National Map Download viewer provides an online map viewing tool for downloading the NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR), NHD, and WBD.
 

Accessing Datasets via Web-based Map Services

Hydrography web-based map services are available from The National Map Service Endpoints page as cached and dynamic services.

Title Service Name Category Type Data Scale Update

Hydrography - Cached

USGSHydroCached Base Maps and/or Overlay Raster Tile Cache NHD Down to 9K (Level 17 in Google map tiles) Updated Annually
National Hydrography Dataset NHD Theme Overlays Dynamic NHD 1:288K and larger Updated Quarterly
Watershed Boundary Dataset WBD Theme Overlays Dynamic WBD 1:18M and larger Updated Quarterly
NHDPlus High Resolution NHDPlus_HR Theme Overlays Dynamic NHDPlus HR 1:250K and larger With publication of NHDPlus HR products

Which service should I use?

Hydrography - Cached (Tiled) (USGSHydroCached)

This nationwide cached overlay uses a variety of hydrography layers and depicts them in standard USGS Topographic Map symbology. It is updated and re-cached once yearly. It is useful for adding hydrography over other map layers down to 1:9,000 scale. It draws more quickly and is more reliable than the dynamic layers, but is updated less frequently and does not provide access to attributes nor the ability to change the style in other applications. This service is also available as a WMTS.
 

National Hydrography Dataset (NHD)

This nationwide dynamic service displays the NHD High Resolution at scales from 1:288K and below. NHD symbology is used and it includes all symbols, for example, flow direction and connectors are shown at large scales. It draws more slowly than the tile cached service, but the data is updated quarterly and it supports access to attributes and dynamic styling (the ability to change the style representation in ESRI clients). This service is also available as a OGC Web Map Service (WMS).
 

Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD)

This nationwide dynamic service displays the WBD at scales from 1:18M and below. It provides ability to either show all WBD levels at all scale ranges or the most appropriate HUC level at a given scale (default setting). The data is updated quarterly and it supports access to attributes and dynamic styling (the ability to change the style representation in ESRI clients). This map service is also available as a OGC Web Map Service (WMS) and a Web Feature Service (WFS).
 

NHDPlus High Resolution (NHDPlus_HR)

This nationwide dynamic service includes the NHDPlus HR vector data and selection of NHPlus HR Value Added Attributes (VAAs) at scales from 1:250K and more detailed. The data is updated with each release of NHDPlus HR staged products and represents the most up-to-date version of NHDPlus HR. This service is also available as an OGC Web Map Service (WMS). Due to the density of the data and the scale dependencies in place on this service, it can be challenging to display and explore NHDPlus_HR at useful scales. It can be helpful to use this service in conjunction with one of the other hydrography services, such as the Hydrography – Cached (above). Explore the data and find desired features in the Hydrography – Cached service and then return to NHDPlus_HR service to visualize and identify NHDPlus HR data.