Significance and Use
5.1 This guide is useful when a systematic record of water surface elevation or discharge is required at a specific location. Some gaging stations may be operated for only a few months; however, many have been operated for a century.
5.2 Gaging station records are used for many purposes:
5.2.1 Resource appraisal of long-term records to determine the maximum, minimum, and variability of flows of a particular stream. These data can be used for the planning and design of a variety of surface water-related projects such as water supply, flood control, hydroelectric developments, irrigation, recreation, and waste assimilation.
5.2.2 Management, where flow data are required for the operation of a surface-water structure or other management decision.
1.1 The guide covers procedures used commonly for the systematic collection of streamflow information. Continuous streamflow information is necessary for understanding the amount and variability of water for many uses, including water supply, waste dilution, irrigation, hydropower, and reservoir design.
1.2 The procedures described in this guide are used widely by those responsible for the collection of streamflow data, for example, the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Water Survey Canada, and many state and provincial agencies. The procedures are generally from internal documents of the preceding agencies, which have become the defacto standards used in North America.
1.3 It is the responsibility of the user of the guide to determine the acceptability of a specific device or procedure to meet operational requirements. Compatibility between sensors, recorders, retrieval equipment, and operational systems is necessary, and data requirements and environmental operating conditions must be considered in equipment selection.
1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.