U.S. Geological Survey analyzes, advises on Puget Sound streamflow monitoring

By on June 27, 2012

The network of gauges that monitor streams flowing into Washington’s Puget Sound covers most of the basin but has a few gaps when it comes to monitoring stormwater in small streams, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS stream gauge analysis is part of an initiative to improve stormwater and ecosystem monitoring in the Puget Sound basin, which consists of a coastal lowland region bordered by the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains.

The investigators surveyed local governments, tribes and other organizations to create a GIS inventory of active and historical gauges. The survey found that 285 active streamflow gauges are monitoring around 73 percent of the Sound’s 14,000-square-mile drainage, but much of the network covers large rivers or sites in the mountains. The best monitoring sites for assessing stormwater impacts in the basin are small streams in low-elevation and coastal areas where urban development is concentrated, according to the report.

Read the full report here.

Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey

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