The U.S. Geological Survey WaterAlert service sends e-mail or text (SMS) messages when
certain parameters, as measured by a USGS real-time data-collection station,
exceed user-definable thresholds. The development and maintenance of the WaterAlert system is supported
by the USGS and its partners, including numerous federal, state, and local agencies.
Real-time data from USGS gages are transmitted via satellite or other telemetry to USGS offices at various intervals;
in most cases, once every 1 or 4 hours. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent.
Notifications will be based on the data received at these site-dependent intervals.
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The USGS WaterNow service lets you send a
query for a USGS gaging site, via email or cell-phone text message,
and quickly receive a reply with its most recent data for one or more if its monitored parameters.
The National Water Information System (NWIS) provides access to data at over 1.5 million sites. There are 56 possible site types, including 14 primary types and 42 secondary types. Sites may be active or inactive, real-time or historical.