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RESTON, Va. — For the first time anyone can find out the current conditions on thousands of rivers and streams across the country right from their phone using U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) latest system WaterNow, according to a press release.
WaterNow makes the water conditions monitored by more than 16,000 streamgages and other sites across the country available through text or email.
Like its predecessor and companion program, WaterAlert, WaterNow seeks to make USGS gage information for streamflow, groundwater levels, springs, water quality and lake levels more readily available to the general public. These data have been available for over 10 years at USGS Water Data for the Nation, which requires a web browser to access, stated the release.
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"USGS is the world's largest provider of hydrologic information, and our streamgages are a vital part of that water infrastructure," said USGS Associate Director for Water Bill Werkheiser. "WaterNow brings that information straight from our streamgages to your smartphone, and keeps USGS data flowing at the cutting edge."
Knowing about current water conditions is important for a variety of purposes, from disaster planning and response to recreation. For example, water levels in streams can be checked during floods to guide evacuations or on a bright weekend morning to plan a day of paddling, noted the release.
Land and resource managers can benefit from WaterNow too. Not only can water levels be obtained, but also water temperatures can be checked to determine when it is necessary to release water from a reservoir to protect downstream trout fisheries.
Read the entire press release here.