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National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP)

How is streamflow information used?

Streamflow information provided by the U.S. Geological Survey is used in many ways and often the information from any given streamgage is used for not just one of the following but for many of the following purposes:

  • Water resource appraisal and allocations - how much water is available and how is it being allocated?
    • For water supply plans
    • As part of interstate agreements, compacts, and court decrees
  • Engineering design
    • Reservoirs
    • Bridges, roads, culverts
    • Treatment plants
  • Operations;
    • Reservoirs
    • Power production
    • Navigation
  • Identifying changes in streamflows due to changes in
    • Land use
    • Water use
    • Climate
  • Flood planning and warning
    • Flood forecasts
    • Floodplain mapping
  • Streamflow forecasting
  • Support of water quality sampling
    • Water quality conditions and trends
    • Contaminant transport
    • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
  • Characterizing and evaluating instream conditions
    • Habitat assessments
    • Instream flow requirements
    • Recreation

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