A new online tool from USGS provides paddlesports enthusiasts and other stakeholders access to current conditions on thousands of U.S. rivers and streams, right from their phone. The system, known as WaterNow, can send customized reports via text message or email.
Like its predecessor and companion program, WaterAlert, WaterNow seeks to make USGS gage information for streamflow, groundwater levels, springs, water quality, and lake levels more readily available to the general public. Previously, USGS water data was accessible via web browsers.
Current water conditions data is used in disaster planning, emergency response, recreational events, and other needs. For example, water levels in streams can be checked during floods to guide evacuations or on a bright weekend morning to plan a day of paddling.
According to USGS, land and resource managers may also benefit from WaterNow. In addition to water level data, water temperatures can be checked to determine when it is necessary to release water protect downstream trout fisheries.
WaterNow expands on the service provided by the USGS WaterAlert service. WaterAlert provides a notification only when conditions exceed a threshold set by a user, whereas WaterNow provides data anytime on demand. Data from many sites is collected at 15 to 60-minute intervals, stored onsite, and then transmitted to USGS every hour.
For more information, visit the USGS WaterNow site: http://water.usgs.gov/waternow/
source: U.S. Geological Survey