USGS Fact Sheet 2008-3075

USGS Fact Sheet 2008-3075

Georgia’s Surface-Water Resources and Streamflow Monitoring Network, 2008

This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS FS 2008-3075
Report available online only.

U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2008-3075, 2 pages (Published August 2008)


Map showing Georgia's surface-water monitoring sites for streamflow.Surface water provides 5 billion gallons per day, or 78 percent, of the total freshwater used (including thermoelectric) in Georgia (Fanning, 2003). Climate, geology, and landforms control the natural distribution of Georgia’s water resources. Georgia is a "headwaters" State, with most of the rivers beginning in northern Georgia and increasing in size downstream (see map at right for major watersheds). Surface water is the primary source of water in the northern one-half of the State, including the Atlanta metropolitan area, where limited ground-water resources are difficult to obtain. In Georgia, periodic droughts exacerbate competition for surface-water supplies. Many areas of Georgia also face a threat of flooding because of spring frontal thunderstorms and the potential for hurricanes from both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. As the population of Georgia increases, these flood risks will increase with development in flood-risk zones, particularly in the coastal region.

Georgia HydroWatch—Streamflow Monitoring Network

Stage is the fundamental hydrologic measurement of a stream—representing the water height or elevation of a stream above an arbitrary datum. Sta ge data are used to compute streamflow (discharge) —the total volume of water that flows past a specific point on a stream during a period of time. Stream stage is measured at each streamflow monitoring station shown on the map above.

Streamflow data are essential for numerous water-resource management issues, including:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) network of 262 real-time monitoring stations, the "Georgia HydroWatch," provides real-time water-stage data, with streamflow computed at 221 locations, and rainfall recorded at 211 stations. These sites continuously record data on 15-minute intervals and transmit the data by satellite to be incorporated into the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database. These data are automatically posted to the USGS Web site for public dissemination ( The real-time capability of this network provides information to help emergency-management officials protect human life and property during floods, and mitigate the effects of prolonged drought.


Surface-Water Resources

Georgia HydroWatch—Streamflow Monitoring Network


References Cited



This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS FS 2008-3075
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