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  4. Stream Gages Command

Stream Gages Command

Information on the flow of rivers is a vital national asset that safeguards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS is the federal agency responsible for operating a network of about 10,000 plus stream gages nationwide.

Data from this network are used by water managers, emergency responders, utilities, environmental agencies, universities, consulting firms, and recreation enthusiasts.

The following are a few practical applications for stream gage data:

  • Planning, forecasting, and warning about floods and droughts.
  • Managing water rights and transboundary water issues.
  • Operating waterways for power production and navigation.
  • Monitoring environmental conditions to protect aquatic habitats.
  • Describing impacts to streamflow from changing land and water uses.
  • Assessing water quality and regulating pollutant discharges.
  • Designing reservoirs, roads, bridges, drinking water, wastewater facilities, etc.

The Stream Gages command of CivilGEO software allows the user to download the USGS provided stream gage data for a specified location.

Follow the steps below to use the Stream Gages command:

  1. From the Map Data ribbon menu, select the Stream Gages command.
    Map Data ribbon menu - Stream Gages command
  2. The Stream Gages dialog box will be displayed.
    Stream Gages dialog box

The following sections describe how to use the Stream Gages command and interact with the above dialog box.

General Specifications

In this section, Stream Gages is the default Layer group name which can be changed by the user. Click the […] button adjacent to the Shapefile path entry to select the file path for saving the downloaded shapefile.

Stream Gages Data Boundry Limits

In this section, choose one of the following three options for defining the geographic location:

  • Current screen limits: The software will use the existing extent of the Map View screen display as a boundary limit for stream gage(s) data to be downloaded. By default, this option is selected.
  • User-defined limits: The user can click on the [Pick] button and draw a rectangle on the Map View representing the user-defined limits for the stream gage data to be downloaded.
  • Model extents: If a project model has been defined, this option will create a bounding rectangular region to the extents of the defined model with an additional buffer boundary.

After selecting the stream gage data boundary limits, clicking on the [OK] button will cause the software to download the stream gage as shapefile data.

The downloaded stream gage(s) will be displayed on the Map View. In addition, the land group layer will also be created in the Map Data Layers panel.
Map Data Layers panel - Stream Gages layer

Note that if USGS stream gage data is not available for the selected location, the following message will be displayed.
USGS stream gage data not available message

About the Author Chris Maeder

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