Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program

Performance Measures

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), and the subsequent GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, require that federal agencies establish performance measures to track and assess progress toward Departmental performance goals. These performance goals and measures are required to be published in a Departmental Strategic Plan and tracked annually to increase agency accountability to the public. The Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program (GWSIP) currently tracks two performance measures in the 2018-2022 Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Plan under the goal to “provide science to safeguard communities from natural hazards”.


Performance Measure #1: Percent of the National Streamflow Network (NSN) that is fully operational

The USGS NSN is the national network of streamgages that continuously monitor streamflow year-round. The network is used to provide accurate flood forecasting and assessments with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); provide data for bridge designs, water-supply studies, and interstate/international transfers; industrial uses; long-term climate trends; and so many other societal needs. The USGS has two sources of GWSIP funding for this network: dedicated base funding for Federal Priority Streamgages and Cooperative Matching Funds (CMF) that are used to partner with State, regional, local, and tribal cooperators. With these funds, the USGS strives to expand the current number of Federal Priority Streamgages providing year-round, real-time continuous streamflow data from 3,200 to 4,760 and optimize the number of streamgages that can be funded by CMF. This performance measure tracks how the USGS is progressing in reaching that goal. Below, please find a snapshot of the performance measure history and the 2022 goal aligned with the 2018-2022 DOI Strategic Plan.

STRATEGIC PLAN PERFORMANCE MEASURES 2015 Actual 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2022 Goal
Percent of the National Streamflow Network (NSN) that is fully operational 87% 88% 88% N/A 88%
Number of streamgages operational 8,130 8,220 8,230 8,120 (E)* 8,230
Federal Priority Streamgages 3,170 3,200 3,200 3,120 (E) 3,200
Other streamgages 4,960 5,020 5,030 5,000 (E) 5,030
Total number of streamgages required 9,360 9,360 9,360 9,360 9,360

*The 2022 Goal assumed level funding from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2022. (E, estimated) 


Performance Measure #2: Percent completion of next generation National Water Data Infrastructure (NWDI) strategy

Through recent efforts, such as the Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI), much advancement has been made to improve the accessibility of existing water data. However, new developments have illuminated critical gaps in existing data and have raised difficult questions about what the next generation will require for water data, tools and information. The USGS is developing a broad and integrative strategy for the next generation National Water Data Infrastructure. The strategy will provide insights into future water data and information needs, and recommend mechanisms and approaches to meet those needs. This performance measure tracks progress as the USGS develops that strategy by 2022.

SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2022 Goal
Percent completion of next generation National Data Water Infrastructure (NWDI) strategy 0% 10% 30% 100%

*The 2022 Goal assumed level funding from FY 2017 through FY 2022 


Progress for these measures, as well as budget-adjusted targets, are published annually alongside the President’s Budget Request in DOI’s Annual Performance Plan and Report (APP&R).  To see each of the published Annual Performance Plans and Reports, please reference DOI’s Budget and Performance website.