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Evaluation of the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage network in South Carolina, 2017

October 23, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been monitoring streamflow in South Carolina since the late 1800s. From the beginning, the USGS streamgage network in South Carolina has been dynamic, with streamgages being added or removed depending on their purpose and the availability of funding from Federal, State, and local partners. Streamflow monitoring is important for acquiring real-time data during flood events, but also for collecting long-term data that can be used to compute the magnitude and frequency of floods and to frame flood events in a historical perspective. These data are also critical for being able to develop regional regression equations that can be used to estimate flood characteristics at ungaged locations, which is important for infrastructure planning and design. The historical flooding that occurred in South Carolina in 2015, 2016, and 2018 highlighted the importance of collecting these data. Therefore, the USGS, in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, evaluated the USGS streamgage network in South Carolina for the purpose of helping guide decisions concerning future streamgage location selection, both spatially and in terms of the range of drainage basin characteristics that are typically important in flood-frequency analyses. The results of this evaluation are presented in this report.