USGS Study reveals a decline in long-record streamgages



Every year more than 100 USGS streamgaging stations with record lengths (more than 30 years) are being discontinued due to lack of funding. This trend, described in a recent USGS report to Congress, is troublesome in light of the many issues hydrologists and engineers must address in the coming years.

Although there is considerable year-to-year variability the underlying dynamic characteristics of the population of USGS streamgages have changed from 30 years ago. During the peak 1959–1968 growth period, the number of active 30-year record stations increased by about 90 stations per year. A combination of increased station mortality and increased reactivation rates since 1968 means that stations are coming into and out of active collection phases much more quickly than before 1968.