A Near-optimum Procedure for Selecting Stations in a Streamgaging Network

by Kenneth J. Lanfear

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5001--ONLINE ONLY

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Two questions are fundamental to Federal government goals for a network of streamgages which are operated by the U.S. Geological Survey: (1) how well does the present network of streamagaging stations meet defined Federal goals and (2) what is the optimum set of stations to add or reactivate to support remaining goals? The solution involves an incremental-stepping procedure that is based on Basic Feasible Incremental Solutions (BFIS’s) where each BFIS satisfies at least one Federal streamgaging goal. A set of minimum Federal goals for streamgaging is defined to include water measurements for legal compacts and decrees, flooding, water budgets, regionalization of streamflow characteristics, and water quality. Fully satisfying all these goals by using the assumptions outlined in this paper would require adding 887 new streamgaging stations to the U.S. Geological Survey network and reactivating an additional 857 stations that are currently inactive.

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