A New Evaluation of the USGS Streamgaging Network--A Report to Congress


The results of the streamgaging network evaluation indicate an obvious decline in the ability of the network to meet some Federal goals, especially those related to flooding and long-term environmental change. The USGS is now in a much better position to explain, in quantitative terms, how additional resources would enhance the national streamgaging network as well as describe in more detail the effects of reductions in these resources. We anticipate that this process will greatly improve the dialogue about how to enhance streamflow information for all the various stakeholders and ultimately result in a more useful and cost-effective network for the Nation. The network evaluation tool provides a basis for a planning effort now underway within the USGS. This planning effort is aimed at defining a "National Streamflow Information Program" (NSIP) that encompasses not only the stations themselves but the full suite of products that the program should produce, the delivery mechanisms for these products (e.g., World Wide Web), the needed modernization of the system, and a long-term research and development component for continually improving the program's effectiveness and efficiency.

The network evaluation outlined in this report and the NSIP planning process will continue to involve the Streamgaging Task Force of the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI). The ACWI is chartered under Office of Management and Budget Memorandum 92-01 following the procedures of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Committee members include representatives of Federal, State, and local agencies, universities, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. We also will be sharing this report widely with interested parties in order to gain their reactions to the principles that we will be applying to the program's design.

The USGS planning team will integrate the feedback from the Streamgaging Task Force and other stakeholders as they design NSIP. We expect to have the key elements of the NSIP defined by March 1999. The development of NSIP plans aligns with the Department of the Interior's Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goal to "Provide science for a changing world." It further supports both GPRA goals of the USGS: 1) "Ensure the continued transfer of data, risk assessments, and disaster scenarios needed by our customers before, during, and after natural disasters;" and 2) "Ensure the continued availability of long-term environmental and natural resource information and systematic analysis and investigations needed by our customers." The metrics used in the network analysis are ideal for the ongoing tracking of these GPRA goals.

Introduction Purpose Evaluation Funding
Modernization Future Conclusions References

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated:Monday, 05-Dec-2016 12:51:23 EST