The combined flow of the nation's three largest rivers—the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence and the Columbia—was up nearly 8% above median in 1989, reports the U.S. Geological Survey. Flow averaged a normal-range 1.08 trillion gallons per day. Hydrologists at the USGS note the sharp contrast to 1988, when combined flow of the three rivers averaged 18% below median and was in the below-normal range.
For smaller streams in the U.S., flow conditions were more varied. Of 174 index stream-gaging stations, 40 reported flows averaging in the above-normal range, 79 had flows averaging in the normal range and 55 stations registered averages in the below-normal range.