Updated service can provide users, via text or email, with quick access to current conditions on rivers.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has announced that, for the first time, anyone can find out the current conditions on thousands of rivers and streams across the country from their phone using USGS’ latest system called WaterNow (http://water.usgs.gov/waternow/. Through WaterNow, the USGS has made the water conditions monitored by its more than 16,000 streamgages and other sites across the country available via text or email.
While the data used has been available for more than 10 years at USGS’ Water Data for the Nation, previous iterations required a web browser to access the information.
“USGS is the world’s largest provider of hydrologic information, and our streamgages are a vital part of that water infrastructure,” says Bill Werkheiser, USGS’ associate director for water. “WaterNow brings that information straight from our streamgages to your smart phone and keeps USGS data flowing at the cutting edge.”
In addition to users being able to check water levels, the USGS makes it available to check water temperatures.
WaterNow also has expanded on the service provided by the USGS WaterAlert service, which was capable of providing a notification only when conditions exceed a threshold set by a user. With the revamped service, WaterNow can provide data anytime on demand. These data are collected, typically at 15- to 60-minute intervals, stored onsite and then transmitted to USGS offices every hour.
To sign up for the program, users need to find the gage they are interested in, using instructions found at http://water.usgs.gov/waternow. They then will need to send a message to WaterNow@usgs.gov with the site number of the gage.
Data values are also available for other kinds of data-collection sites such as wells, springs, and lakes.
For complete instructions and guides on the types of data available, visit http://water.usgs.gov/waternow/.