The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has unveiled its new, online WaterWatch website which gives visitors an instantaneous picture of water conditions nationwide in near real time. Through the use of USGS WaterWatch maps, the entire Nation’s current streamflow conditions, including high flood-flows and low drought-flows are depicted on maps with color-coded dots which represent conditions at about 3,000 streamgages. The WaterWatch website is available at https://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/ .
WaterWatch features a point-and-click interface allowing users to retrieve maps and graphs of real-time stage and discharge data for individual stations. From the National map, you can click on a state to find state data and click further to find near real-time data at an individual gage. This feature facilitates rapid assessment of both general and specific water-resources conditions. WaterWatch also serves as a geospatial front end to N WIS-Web, the USGS online National Water Information S ystem that provides access via home or office computer to real-time and historical surface-water, ground water, and water-quality data. Access to data (including real-time streamflow and historical flood peaks) via NWIS-Web can be obtained at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/. To provide users with a broad perspective on short-term and long-term streamflow conditions and variations, WaterWatch maps and graphs are organized into three distinct categories: realtime, daily, and 7-day average streamflow. The latter category is particularly useful for identifying regions undergoing prolonged wet and dry spells.