Design of a National Streamflow Information Program

Report with Recommendations of a Committee

by the National Streamflow Information Program Committee (J.D. Bales, J.E. Costa (chair), D.J. Holtschlag, K.J. Lanfear, S. Lipscomb, P.C. Milly, R. Viger, and D.M. Wolock)

U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2004-1263--ONLINE ONLY

The full report is available as a pdf.
The full report is available as html online.


The Committee that prepared this plan for a National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) met and worked in 1998-1999. The results of the Committee’s meetings and deliberations are contained in this document, which is a product of the circumstances of the U.S. Geological Survey streamgaging program as of 1999. Over the next several years as partial funding for NSIP became available, parts of the plan presented here were adopted, other parts were revised, and some have never been implemented. Although this report was completed and reviewed in 1999, personnel changes, planning, and implementation of this important new program has delayed publication until now. A brief summary was published in 1999 (Streamflow Information for the Next Century, 1999, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-456, 13 p.). The NSIP program today (2004) is similar but not identical to the program outlined herein. This report is published since it provides the only detailed documentation of the thinking and workings of the Committee who developed and designed the program. From a larger perspective, this report also serves to document the vision of the Water Discipline for the future of streamgaging in the U.S. Geological Survey. A more recent description of NSIP is provided in Hirsch, R.M. and Norris, J.M., 2001, National Streamflow Information Program: Implementation Plan and Progress Report: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-048-01, and National Research Council, 2004, Assessing the National Streamflow Information Program: National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 146 p.

The NSIP web page contains these reports, and others, as well as the most current information about NSIP. The web page can be found at

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 1.7 MB )

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