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River flow data now offered on-line

Brief by Jeff Keidel

Water – May 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ranchers, farmers, floaters, and anglers can now access accurate and up-to-the-minute water information for the Arkansas and other river basins through two new Internet services.

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service’s new Water and Climate home page allows Internet computer users to obtain updates on snowpack condition and streamflow forecasts. Snowpack measurements are gathered from mountain SNOTEL sites and relayed via satellite to a center in Oregon. The data include total precipitation, snow-water equivalence, and percentage of average. The center makes the new data available daily on its home page.

“This will provide a timely and more user-friendly method of accessing information for water users throughout Colorado,” said NRCS State Conservationist Duane Johnson.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s home page allows users to view both historic and current streamflows measured by the riverside gaging stations. River flows are given in cubic feet per second or in gage height. Information about water quality and temperature is also available, and the readings are updated every four hours.

“Not too long ago, if someone wanted streamflow data, they would have to call us. Then we’d respond to the request by mail,” said USGS Pueblo Subdistrict Chief Doug Cain. “Now they can get the data instantly.”

Both home pages use colorful maps and tabular format to present the information in an easy form.

The NRCS Water and Climate home page is at ;.

The USGS Water Resources of Colorado home page is at ;.

–Jeff Keidel