USGS WaterAlert and StreaMail Tools

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has developed two new tools that may help states and water utilities be better prepared to prepare for/mitigate against flooding situations. Communities near stream gage sites can get real time information that can be used to avert or mitigate the damage caused by unexpected flooding.

USGS WaterAlert is a service that “…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.”

USGS StreaMail can be used in tandem with WaterAlert.  USGS StreaMail provides a method to query a USGS gaging site via email, cell phone text message, or handheld device for gage height and streamflow.  Send your request to StreaMail and in a few minutes you will get a reply showing the latest river stage and streamflow.

For more information on both of these tools, click on http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert/

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