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National Streamflow Information Program Federal Goals

The National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) plan call for a backbone set of USGS-funded streamgages strategically positioned across the country that are continuously operated to fulfill NSIP's five Federal goals. These will be a premanent set of core streamgages from which streamflow information would be delivered in realtime, and would not depend on support from funding partners.

In designing this proposed network, USGS personnel selected active USGS streamgages whenever possible. If none existed, they turned to either inactive USGS streamgages or streamgages operated by other agencies. If none of these possibilities were available, they proposed initiating a new streamgage for NSIP. In those instances where another agency's streamgages are apart of the design, the USGS would provide funding to that agency to assure that their streamgages follow NSIP requirements for data collection and data delivery.

In addition to operating these USGS-funded streamgages, the USGS would continue to work with many partners to operate additional streamgages that would provide the breadth and depth of coverage needed by the ever-growing community of data users. The full network would be cooperatively designed to meet Federal, State, tribal, and local needs.

Cooperators in other agencies have more than carried their share of the current network. Their active participation would continue to be crucial in the future but would build a more robust USGS-funded base than currently exists.

Map and list of streamgages that meet the five Federal goals.

NSIP's Federal Goals

Five Federal goals have been identified as those that should be met by the core set of USGS-funded streamgages in NSIP. Many other goals exist; these would be the highest priority.

Interstate and International Waters - Interstate compacts, court decrees, and international treaties mandate long-term, accurate, and unbiased streamgaging by the USGS at State-line crossings, compact points, and international boundaries.

Streamflow Forecasts - Real-time stage and discharge data are required to support flood forecasting by the National Weather Service across the country.

River Basin Outflows - Resource managers need to account fo rthe contribution of water from each of the Nation's 350 major river basins to the next downstream basin, estuary, ocean or the Great Lakes.

Sentinel Watersheds - A network of streamgaging stations is needed to describe the ever-changing status as it varies in response to changes in climate, land use, and water use in 800 watersheds across the country that are relatively unaffected by flow regulation or diversion and typify major ecoregions and river basins.

Water Quality - Streamgaging stations are needed to provide the streamflow information in support of the three national USGS water-quality networks: one that covers the Nation's largest rivers; the second for intermediate-sized rivers; and the third for small, pristine watersheds.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintainer: Office of Surface Water
Last update: 13:29:23 Wed 27 Feb 2002
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