Publications—Fact Sheet 2007-3043

From the River to You:
USGS Real-Time Streamflow Information

…from the National Streamflow Information Program

By Joseph P. Nielsen and J. Michael Norris

U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007-3043

The body of the report is available in PDF Format (2,143 KB)


As part of the National Streamflow Information Program, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates more than 7,400 streamgages nationwide to provide streamflow information for a wide variety of uses. These uses include prediction of floods, management and allocation of water resources, design and operation of engineering structures, scientific research, operation of locks and dams, and for recreational safety and enjoyment. These streamgages are operated by the USGS in partnerships with more than 800 other Federal, State, Tribal, and local cooperating agencies. Today (2007), nearly 90 percent of streamgages record and transmit streamflow information electronically so that streamflow information is available on the World Wide Web in real time ( Most streamgages transmit information via satellite, but a few use telephone and radio telemetry.

Collecting and delivering streamflow information from the streamgage to the World Wide Web in real time by satellite involves numerous steps and the simultaneous activities of a large array of computer hardware and software. These processes work together to ensure the prompt delivery of streamflow information to many diverse users.

Suggested Citation

Nielsen, J.P. and Norris, J.M., 2007, From the River to You: USGS Real-Time Streamflow Information: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007-3043, 4 p.

If you have Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed on your computer, you may view and print the PDF version of this report. Acrobat Reader, is a free download from Adobe Systems, Inc. Users with disabilities can view information concerning accessibility at .

For further information, contact:

J. Michael Norris
U.S. Geological Survey
361 Commerce Way
Pembroke, NH 03275

(603) 226-7847

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