USGS National Streamflow Information Program
The National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) plan has a backbone set of USGS-funded streamgages strategically positioned across the country that are continuously operated to fulfill NSIP's mission. These will be a premanent set of core streamgages from which streamflow information would be delivered in realtime, and would not depend on support from funding partners.
Map and list of streamgages that meet the five Federal needs.
NSIP's Federal Needs for Streamflow Information
Five Federal goals have been identified as those that should be met by the core set of USGS-funded streamgages in NSIP. Many other goals exist; these would be the highest priority.
Interstate and International Waters - Interstate compacts, court decrees, and international treaties mandate long-term, accurate, and unbiased streamgaging by the USGS at State-line crossings, compact points, and international boundaries.
Streamflow Forecasts - Real-time stage and discharge data are required to support flood and other streamflow forecasting by the National Weather Service and other Federal agencies across the country.
River Basin Outflows - Resource managers need to account for the contribution of water from each of the Nation's 350 major river basins to the next downstream basin, estuary, ocean or the Great Lakes.
Sentinel Watersheds - A network of streamgages is needed to describe the ever-changing status as it varies in response to changes in climate, land use, and water use in 800 watersheds across the country that are relatively unaffected by flow regulation or diversion and typify major ecoregions and river basins.
Water Quality - Streamgaging stations are needed to provide the streamflow information in support of the three national USGS water-quality networks: one that covers the Nation's largest rivers; the second for intermediate-sized rivers; and the third for small, pristine watersheds.