A World Wide Web application has been developed to make it easy to obtain streamflow statistics for user-selected locations on Massachusetts streams. The Web application, named STREAMSTATS (available at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/streamstats/massachusetts.html ), can provide peak-flow frequency, low-flow frequency, and flow-duration statistics for most streams in Massachusetts. These statistics describe the magnitude (how much), frequency (how often), and duration (how long) of flow in a stream.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has published streamflow statistics, such as the 100-year peak flow, the 7-day, 10-year low flow, and flow-duration statistics, for its data-collection stations in numerous reports. Federal, State, and local agencies need these statistics to plan and manage use of water resources and to regulate activities in and around streams. Engineering and environmental consulting firms, utilities, industry, and others use the statistics to design and operate water-supply systems, hydropower facilities, industrial facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and roads, bridges, and other structures. Until now, streamflow statistics for data-collection stations have often been difficult to obtain because they are scattered among many reports, some of which are not readily available to the public. In addition, streamflow statistics are often needed for locations where no data are available. STREAMSTATS helps solve these problems.
STREAMSTATS was developed jointly by the USGS and MassGIS, the State Geographic Information Systems (GIS) agency, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Management and Environmental Protection. The application consists of three major components: (1) a user interface that displays maps and allows users to select stream locations for which they want streamflow statistics (fig. 1), (2) a data base of previously published streamflow statistics and descriptive information for 725 USGS data-collection stations, and (3) an automated procedure that determines characteristics of the land-surface area (basin) that drains to the stream and inserts those characteristics into equations that estimate the streamflow statistics. Each of these components is described and guidance for using STREAMSTATS is provided below.