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International Standards

Contacts Kirk Thibodeaux, Secretary of ANSI TAG for TC 113, email:
and Tom Yorke, Chairman of ANSI TAG for TC 113, email:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) participates in the activities of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on matters related to the measurement of liquid flow in open channels through ISO Technical Committee 113, Hydrometric Determinations. ISO is the largest international agency for standardization and comprises representatives from nearly 90 countries who propose, develop, review, and establish international standards for the conduct of scientific and technical investigation and measurement. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the American member body of ISO.

ANSI has designated the USGS as the Chair of the ANSI Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO TC 113. The Chief of the USGS Office of Surface Water (OSW) traditional heads the USA TC 113 TAG. Most of the members of the TAG are USGS hydrologists and engineers, but representatives from the National Weather Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and various academic and consulting groups have participated over the years.

By consensus, the TAG recommends to ANSI positions on the acceptance or modification of ISO standards. TAG members draft new standards and review existing and proposed standards as members of ISO TC 113 subcommittees (SC's) and work groups. The TC 113 work programme includes many aspects of open-channel flow. Subcommittees have been established for Velocity-area methods (SC1); Notches, weirs, and flumes (SC2); Terminology and symbols (SC3); Instruments, equipment, and data management (SC5); Sediment transport (SC6); and Ground water (SC8). The USGS holds the chairs and secretariats for SC 5 and SC 8.

Most of the ISO TC 113 standards are presented in ISO Handbook 16, "Measurement of liquid flow in open channels". Updated versions of these and other TC 113 standards are available from ANSI.

Anyone can serve on the USA TAG for ISO TC 113, but members should possess strong technical skills related to one or more of the areas mentioned above. Persons with research interests in these areas are welcome, but there is a strong need for persons of a broad, multidisciplinary background as well. Work performed for the TAG is strictly voluntary and salary and travel costs are the responsibility of the members or their sponsoring agency or institution.

TAG members should be willing to review 4 to 5 standards in their areas of expertise each year. Standards are usually 8 to 12 pages in length. Occasionally, members will be asked to draft standards for submission to the TC or relevant SC's. Occasionally, members are asked to attend international meetings of ISO and its affiliate institutions, committees, and work groups. Selection for such travel depends on relevance of member expertise at the meeting and on member contributions to the TAG effort.

The benefits to the participates and sponsors include opportunities to learn about and influence formation of international standards that affect the work of hydrologists worldwide; opportunities to meet and communicate with hydrologists of international stature; and opportunities to learn about hydraulic and hydrologic techniques and instrumentation used in other countries.

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