Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

How is the information from StreamStats used?

The StreamStats Application provides two primary products for its users. These products include streamflow statistics and basin characteristics. Read on to learn how these products are used.

The primary products delivered by StreamStats are streamflow statistics and basin characteristics. Examples of streamflow statistics include the 100-year flood, the mean annual flow, and the 7-day, 10-year low flow. Examples of basin characteristics include the drainage area, stream slope, mean annual precipitation and percentage of forested area. Basin characteristics are the physical factors that control delivery of water to a point on a stream. This information is used to protect people and property from floods and droughts, and to manage land, water, and biological resources. StreamStats also provides descriptive information for data-collection stations, such as station name, identification number, latitude, longitude, and station type.

Engineers, land managers, biologists, and many others use streamflow statistics to help guide decisions in their everyday work. For example, engineers use streamflow statistics to map flood plains for cities and towns, and to design roads, bridges, and culverts. Scientists use streamflow statistics and basin characteristics to model the effects of changes in land use on streamflow; information that is valuable for planning purposes. Land and water-resource managers use streamflow statistics for design and management of water supplies, and for waste-water discharge permitting. Biologists use the information to determine flows needed to protect endangered aquatic animals and their habitat. Corporations use streamflow statistics to design and operate hydroelectric facilities and factories that use water or discharge waste into streams or water bodies.