You are here: Home / News

USGS Water Data News


September 19, 2017

Improvements for USGS Water Data for the Nation

  • Hydrograph bug fixed where data gaps would sometimes incorrectly be connected across the gap when estimated data immediately adjoined the gap.
  • Water-Year Summary report bugs fixed where (1) some reports were not available for viewing, and (2) a table header would print incorrectly in some web browsers.
  • Ratings depot bug fixed where it incorrectly reported all ratings updating each night in certain east-coast states.
  • Surface water field measurements columns have been removed (rating number, shift adjustment, percent difference) because of underlying software-technology changes.
  • Instantaneous Data Archive is no longer linked to, as its data have been integrated into USGS Water Data for the Nation.
  • Ratings depot EXSA output properly shows both BREAKPOINT and OFFSET information.

Bugfixes for

  • Groundwater levels service bug fixed where WaterML 2 output dropped precision in tenths or smaller places when value had trailing zeroes (for example, 6.90 versus 6.9)
  • All XML output formats bug fixed where, on rare occasions, erroneous text was inserted unexpectedly between tags.
  • Daily-values data bug fixed where data before 2007-10-01 sometimes incorrectly had illogical remark codes (for example, [91]).

New feature—revised-records metadata available for time series data

USGS staff, on rare occasions, must revise water data after they have received final approval. Publicizing the fact of these revisions has been challenging historically. Beginning in 2017, USGS Water Data for the Nation systematically reports the presence of revised time-series data (instantaneous values and daily values) in three ways:

  1. A remark code of "R" is associated with any data value in tabular outputs when it has been revised.
  2. Tab-delimited outputs include an extra comment line explaining data in the file have been revised.
  3. Web pages indicate the presence of revised records in a table or plot with a clickable link similar to this:


If the link is selected, a page appears offering more detailed text explanations about the nature of the revisions.

At this time, only time-series water data offer this feature. This capability will be added for other (non time-series) water data as underlying software improvements allow.

December 8, 2016

The USGS Water Resources system transition

The USGS Water Resources system is undergoing a transition to a new data management solution. This transition will occur on a water science center by water science center basis over the next 7 months. Please refer to the June 10 notes for identified changes. Most likely you will not notice this transition, however we will be actively monitoring the system and addressing new issues as soon as possible over this period.

December 5, 2016

Mandatory HTTPS encryption coming to USGS websites

USGS websites will be switching to the secure and encrypted HTTPS protocol during December, 2016. For most users, the changes won’t be noticeable other than a visual change in web browsers indicating a private connection. But users who write or maintain software that uses USGS web services could be impacted and should read on for details.

After this switch, requests for USGS web resources using the HTTP protocol will receive one of the 3xx Redirection HTTP status codes indicating an equivalent HTTPS URL. Software that receives this response likely falls into one of these categories:
  • No change required. Many underlying software libraries transparently process redirects and switch to the HTTPS protocol with no required programming changes. The additional redirect will reduce performance slightly, however, so an optimization would be changing all USGS URLs to HTTPS.
  • Does not follow redirects automatically, change required. Some software libraries may report redirects as errors instead of following them. For this, change all USGS URLs to HTTPS, or alter the software to follow the redirect response.
  • Supports HTTPS only with additional configuration, change required. Underlying software libraries might require additional configuration, installed modules, or invocation options to support HTTPS.
  • Does not support HTTPS, potentially major change required. Some software libraries, particularly older ones, might not be capable of supporting HTTPS. For this, alternate libraries can be sought or the software can be ported to another language or platform that supports HTTPS.

Software developers may test a software library’s redirect and HTTPS support by retrieving an arbitrary web resource, including this URL that generates a 3xx redirect to an HTTPS URL: USGS may provide limited testing, upon request, of and before the switch. This conversion is part of a federal-government-wide effort observing that “the American people expect government websites to be secure and their interactions with those websites to be private.” USGS is pleased to support this effort.

October 24, 2016

Water Data for the Nation on mobile devices notice, 2016

The new iOS 10.0.n now requires https for GeoLocation to work. We plan to add a security certificate to our sites that will fix GeoLocation, however this will not be completed until closer to the end of the calendar year. In the interim, you can still use the text box in the upper left corner to enter a location. Additionally, there is another issue with zooming into the map depending on your browser. We are working on requiring an esri mapping upgrade, that should address this soon. We appreciate any feedback that you have given and look forward to more ! Thank you for using the USGS Water Data for the Nation site !!

June 10, 2016

Water Data for the Nation changes, 2016

Changes are coming this summer to USGS water data. For most users, the changes will be minor or unnoticeable. Advanced users and data analysts should read on to understand how changes to some data fields and calculations could affect their work. Users who write or maintain software that uses these water data should read on.

These changes result from improvements to the underlying National Water Information System software used to collect, validate, quality-assure and store USGS water data. We have worked hard to minimize end-user impact, but there is some impact.

Most of these changes will we be implemented state-by-state over a 7 month period starting in late summer 2016. But some of these changes—indicated with a * in the list below—will be immediate, national, and should occur in July 2016.

Changes that affect only new data at a site:

  • Short rolling outages in real-time feeds. As sites are switched to new underlying software, individual real-time data feeds might slow down or stall for minutes to hours. We will strive to minimize downtime, especially at sites experiencing emergency conditions.
  • More Instantaneous Values (IVs) on estimated days. USGS will begin systematically publishing continuous (instantaneous values) data for periods of estimation. Previously, most estimates were available only as daily values and the instantaneous data were filtered.
  • Minor rounding changes. Time-series and field-measurement data values may change in the number of significant figures, particularly around powers of 10 (e.g., from 9,999 to 10,000). The specific changes will vary by parameter and, in some cases, will be specific to a particular site.
  • New partial-day remarks for daily values (DVs). Daily values that include a gap in data will now have a partial-day remark to indicate that they were computed from less than complete record. When the data gap is too large, no daily value will be calculated.
  • Daylight saving time is no longer used for daily-values calculations. This means that in the summer months, where daylight saving time is observed daily values will be calculated from 1:00am to 1:00am in local time. Previously published daily values are not affected.
  • More reference lines may appear on graphs. Graphs may begin showing more reference lines, particularly operational limits that never can be exceeded.
  • WaterAlert subscriptions should be confirmed. WaterAlert subscriptions should be monitored. Email and text-message WaterAlert subscriptions should be unaffected, but users should report any problems to

Changes that may affect all data at a site:

  • Use of daylight saving time. Previously, some USGS sites reported data in year-round standard time even when daylight time was locally observed These sites may begin reporting all data in local time as the new software is deployed. Final decisions are made by each local USGS Water Science Center independently.
  • Discontinued field-measurement columns. Rating number, shift adjustment, and percent difference columns will no longer be reported; they were inconsistently populated and potentially misleading.
  • Longer text in some field measurement columns. Some columns, such as control condition and channel condition, have additional possible values and/or have been converted from using abbreviation codes to full text descriptions.
  • Instantaneous values (IVs) before 2007-10-01 are now supported. The Instantaneous Data Archive (IDA) is being integrated into and New remark codes, transferred from IDA, are associated with these older IV data to express how well they match published daily values. Pre 2007-10-01 data for other parameters will also begin appearing over time as configured by individual Water Science Centers.

Changes that might affect bookmarked URLs and software that uses water data:

  • *Data descriptors (DDs) are replaced with time-series identifiers (TSIDs). DDs were used to discriminate between multiple time series of the same parameter (e.g., water temperature at multiple depths), although end users were discouraged from relying on it. The 3-digit DD has been replaced by a new 6-digit TSID. These TSIDs are considered internal and end users should continue to avoid using these numbers in their programming.
  • *Column order may change for time-series tables of multiple parameters. The DD was arbitrarily used to order columns. With the switch to TSID, column orderings likely will change, affecting software that assumes a certain order.
  • *URLs for time-series graphs may change. Bookmarks to standalone graphs may break if a site publishes more than one instance of the same parameter (e.g., water temperature at multiple depths). This is because the DD was used to disambiguate these, but now the TSID is used instead.
  • *Comment lines in tab-separated (RDB) output may change. Some of the text on comment lines (lines that begin with #) will be in a different format or even removed. End users should avoid relying on information in comment lines in their programming.
  • Some less common time-series parameters have changed parameter codes. Major parameters like discharge are still the same (code 00060), but some codes like stream velocity have changed (from 00055 to 72254)
  • modifiedSince argument on waterservices may mislead, briefly. Software that relies on this argument to minimize the amount of data requested may see these data requests become much larger as locations are moved to the new underlying system. This should not last for more than a few hours at an individual site.

May 27, 2015

Water Web Services (

  • The site service test tool now allows searching by site name. The match can be exact, from the start of the site name or a match on any part of the site name based on the siteNameMatchOperator argument. A major filter is still required due to the unacceptably high number of partial matches that could occur with a nationwide search.
  • Test tools have been improved in general and a new Menu has been implemented.

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015


  • USGS Water Data for the Nation (
    • Removed "new" tag off of the Graph with (up to 3) parms on DV station pages
    • WYS,  adjusted end dates on STAT_SUMM table
  • USGS Water Services (
    • Ground water service - Records with duplicate time zone corrections fixed.
    • Instantaneous and Daily Value services - improved marshaling of data output


March 23, 2015

USGS Water Data for the Nation (

  • Water Year Summary (WYS) Reports
  • Changes made to Statistics web service for Water Year Summary reports.
  • Water Year Summary (WYS) Reports Seasonal / partial record site:
      • Those sites which, by design, only have data collected for part of water year 2014, will have no table 2 (monthly stats) or table 3 (annual stats) included in the 2014 WYS report.
      • Statistics only are computed for time-series with 5 or more complete months/years of data.
      • Monthly statistics (table 2)
        • For any given month, compute the monthly statistics from daily values only if a complete month of data For period of record monthly statistics, compute from the above monthly means using begin date in stat_summ.
      • Annual statistics (table 3)
        • For any given year, compute the annual statistics from daily values only if a complete year of data For period of record annual statistics, compute from the above annual means using begin data in stat_summ.


    • General bugs addressed
        • Measurement table on waterdata has a bad link to old help files.
        • Bad link removed from Status pages.
        • Precision for negative max/min gage heights.
        • Reference lines not displaying on graphs for certain operational parameter.

    Water Web Services (

    • Statistical WebService - modifications for WYS
    • Groundwater WebService - WaterML2.0 added

    Help System (

    • Help on how often graphs are refreshed.

    Mapper (

    • WaterAlert URL direction changed.

    January 5, 2015


    USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • Integration of new Ground-water Approval Flag and other fields into Graphs and User Interface

    The processing of groundwater data has been enhanced to include discrete water-level data aging codes in this release. This includes the ability to distinguish between provisional and approved groundwater-level measurements in graphs and tables. In addition, groundwater data will now include unrounded water-level values and an associated water-level accuracy code, water-level date-time accuracy code, water-level source code, and method of water-level measurement code. This information will display in HTML tables, tab-delimited output, and in the groundwater levels web service.  The default rdb output format for the Groundwater webservice is now 2.0 and you must use format=rdb,1.0 to get the old format.

    • Water Use Data

    The Aggregated Water Use Data displays have been updated to include the latest 2010 totals for State, County, and National data.

    • Problem reports fixed
      • Addressed inconsistent wording on surface water introduction page. (PR 19833)
      • Corrected spelling of county name of DeKalb in Georgia (PR 21885)
      • Reference levels are added to the plot only when measured record is shown on IV graphs for less than 120 days.(PR 27582)
      • All references for help should be correctly redirected to (PR 31027)
      • Added the "new" datum LMSL (Local Mean Sea Level) to the graphs and tables related to Groundwater data.(PR 31099)
      • Site Inventory Table Sorter now scrolls correctly with the data below it.(PR 31384)
      • Water Quality data can now be retrieved using IE 10 and a file of one or more parameter codes (PR 31395).
      • Updated Water Year Summary (WYS) functionality to have CLIMATOLOGICAL and ECOLOGICAL manuscript elements associated to parameters(PR 31500)
      • Updated WYS to correctly address Spanish letters in site descriptions (PR 31506).
      • The format of the groundwater level time column in RDB output is consistent now between waterdata and waterservices (hh:mm) (PR 31551).
      • The filter startDt has a min of 1838 yet there are gw records that are older (PR 31555)
      • Updated WYS reports such that Monthly acre-feet (and total) computed / tabled for stage-only (and lake) site(s) (PR 31566)
      • Selecting Water-Year Summary from available data now redirects to WDR server (PR 31580)
      • WYS reports are not generated for sites with provisional data now (PR 31582).
      • Initial selection of water use category is now accepted in any browser (PR 31583).
      • Removed "Take Pride in America" logo on bottom right of all pages - it was a broken link and obsolete (PR 31603)
      • Updated WYS, and revised wording displayed in absence of approved station manuscript elements (PR 31631).
      • Water Use, we have updated references to data from 2005 to 2010 (PR 31632).
      • Updated WYS, fixed empty parens in monthly statistics for seasonal sites (PR 31636)
      • Annual statistics computed for seasonal record (discharge) in Water Year Summary (PR31640).
      • The following real-time parameters can now be selected:
        • 72252 - Physical Solar radiation (average flux density on a horizontal surface during measurement interval), kilowatts per square meter (PR 31629)
        • 32314 - Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), water, filtered, field, single band excitation, fluorescence emission, parts per billion quinine sulfate equivalents (ppb QSE) (PR 31592)
        • 00401 - Cations minus anions, water, milliequivalents (PR31646)
        • 32325 - Dark measurement spectral average, water, in situ, ultraviolet nitrate analyzer, raw counts(PR 31648)
        • 32326 - Light measurement spectral average, water, in situ, ultraviolet nitrate analyzer, raw counts(PR 31648)

    Help System (

    • New code definitions including water-level method, water-level accuracy, water-level source of information and water-level date accuracy for the integration of ground water approval flag project.

    Water Web Services (

    • The site service now allows searching by site name. The match can be exact, from the start of the site name or a match on any part of the site name based on the siteNameMatchOperator argument. A major filter is still required due to the unacceptably high number of partial matches that could occur with a nationwide search.
    • The site service no longer accepts time as part of the startDt and endDt URL arguments. (PR 26660)
    • Header comments embedded in tab-delimited (RDB) files for the site service now match equivalent queries in the USGS Water Data for the Nation site. (PR 25729)
    • The instantaneous value service was not reporting the time zone with each instantaneous value. This has been fixed. (PR 30392)
    • The IV and DV services now offer format output for Excel (PR 23526).) The Excel option is only available with the list of sites option with the IV/DV services and only for up to 10 sites.
    • The Groundwater webservice has been modified to deliver all data elements added by the groundwater approval flag project.
    • The default rdb output format for the Groundwater webservice is now 2.0 and you must use format=rdb,1.0 to get the old format.

    Mapper (

    • New symbology added to Mapper to discern co-located sites (PR 25187).

    October 1, 2014


    USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    Changes accessing USGS Water Year Summaries

    For many decades, the USGS has produced annual data reports. These reports are authoritative summaries of USGS water activities at a particular site. For many years, these annual reports were printed and bound into books as a collection of site data sheets.

    Over the last decade, the USGS has been working to automate and streamline the process of publishing these reports for greater efficiency and to make these reports available in a timelier manner. With this release, new water year summaries for a site will be created dynamically on the USGS Water Data for the Nation site based on most recently approved data. These reports will start to appear on October 1, 2014 and will be created when you select water years 2014 and later. (Water year 2014 begins October 1, 2013 and lasts through September 30, 2014.) Reports covering water years 2006 through 2013 are also available on this site. You no longer are sent to an external site to get these reports.

    Beginning October 1, 2014, on each station page the drop down control "Available data for this site" will be changed to show an option "Water-Year Summary". Reports for water years 2006 through 2013 are static Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Reports for water years 2014 onward are created dynamically. For these new reports, you must select a single USGS parameter of interest (such as streamflow, same as discharge) by selecting the appropriate check box, selecting the water year and then pressing the GO button. After you press the GO button you will see a screen with the annual water data statistics. All data for a water year must first be approved by the local water science center before this option can appear. The process of approving data for a USGS site can take many months after a water year ends.

    Water Year Summary - Figure 1

    If you would like to see the report in a published format, click on the "Print this page" icon near the top right corner of the page. You can then send the report to the printer and the printed report will look similar to previously published reports. If you prefer to have a PDF version of these newer reports, you will need to convert the report to PDF. There are many ways to do this. Adobe Acrobat is a commercial product that will facilitate this process. There are also free tools that offer similar functionality. Using a search engine to search on terms like "print to PDF" will reveal many tools. These tools will allow you to save a printed document as a PDF file by selecting it as a virtual printer.

    WYS - Figure 2

    August 11, 2014

    This release includes many important features and bug fixes.

    USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • When selecting the option to display a summary of selected sites, the selection of a particular agency code is now honored. (PR 23683)
    • Fixed a bug related to graphs of discrete groundwater data. The bug occurred when no activity occurred over the requested period. Now, no graph will appear when the following conditions were noted with the measurement and there are no other valid values to be plotted: frozen, dry, discontinued, obstructed, destroyed, no value is recorded or there is an instrumentation problem. (PR 26665)
    • The column headers in HTML tables for field surface water measurements are now linked to their corresponding definition in the help system if there is a definition associated with the column. (PR 28020)
    • Symbols used on graphs to show discrete groundwater levels will be larger or smaller depending on the density of data on the graphs. This is to make these measurements easier to see without obscuring other data on the graph. (PR 29911)
    • Graphs of groundwater data include a note/disclaimer as follows: "Caution: When viewing a plot with multiple sites, it is important to understand the characteristics of data being plotted. For example, some parameters are measured from a reference point that varies from site to site, such as water-level depth below land surface datum for wells, and gage height for streams. Calculating the difference between values at sites with different altitudes would have limited meaning." (PR 29999)
    • There is no longer a slow response when submitting feedback forms, such as "Questions about sites/data?" and "Feedback on this web site". The USGS Answers system is now called directly. An optional field for organization is no longer captured since the USGS Answers system does not support it. (PR 30321) To accommodate a redesign of USGS Answers, the site number is now echoed on the USGS Answers page when users request feedback from a station page. This aids USGS water science center personnel in responding to queries. (PR 31243)
    • Dynamic graphs no longer fail when two parameters are requested and the range of data includes February 29 of a leap year. (PR 30753)
    • We fixed an issue that appeared only in the Chrome browser that caused column headers to partially obscure the first rows of data in a table on statewide streamflow tables. (PR 30893)
    • Fixed issue that caused certain dynamic graphs not to render if there were quote characters in the station names. (PR 30899)
    • Fixed issue for graphs of instantaneous data where in certain cases the period of record was misreported, due to a leap year issue. (PR 30911 & PR 30997)
    • If there are no parameters selected for current condition sites, the option to show sites on a map will not work. (PR 30995)
    • Fixed a problem with site name searching which failed if parentheses were used as search criteria. (PR 31015)
    • Some links that incorrectly pointed to old and now removed tutorials for water quality now point to the new help system. (PR 31022)
    • Daily, monthly and annual statistics buttons now line up correctly beneath the statistics button. (PR 31207)
    • Reverted certain stylistic changes on station pages so that indentation of content was more traditional and HTML tables did not take up the full width of the screen. (PR 31210)
    • Fixed issue with filterable tables. On certain tables, filters for a column were actually filtering for content on an adjacent column. (PR 31211)
    • Fixed typo, missing space after the word "lakes," on the main page, in the description of water quality data. (PR 30703)
    • The following real-time parameter can now be selected:
      • 83554 - Nitrate plus nitrite, water, total, tons per day as nitrogen (PR 31245)
      • 72205 - Bulk electrical conductance, soil, decisiemens per meter (PR 31293)
      • 72125 - Atmospheric water vapor pressure, calculated, kilopascals (PR 31293)
      • 72130 - Potential evapotranspiration (PET), calculated by Penman method, millimeters per hour (PR 31293)
      • 72159 - Evapotranspiration, millimeters per day (PR 31293)
      • 72173 - Wave period, Fourier transformation, seconds (PR 31293)
      • 72243 - Discharge, cubic feet per day (PR 31293)
      • 99237 - Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter signal to noise ratio (PR 31293)
      • 99238 - Location of Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter cell end, feet (PR 31293)
      • 99968 - Acoustic signal strength, units specified in data descriptor (PR 31293)
      • 50292 - Gain control, AVM (PR 31296)
      • 70309 - Compaction, sediment, feet (PR 30407)
      • 99247 - Lower 90 percent prediction limit for SSC by regression (PCODE 99409), mg/l (PR 31411)
      • 99246 - Upper 90 percent prediction limit for SSC by regression (PCODE 99409), mg/l (PR 31411)
      • 31720 - Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), count of tagged fish per hour (PR 31434)
      • 31725 - Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), count of unique tagged fish per hour
      • 31722 - Hybrid asian carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobliis and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix hybrids), count of tagged fish per hour
      • 31727 - Hybrid asian carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobliis and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix hybrids), count of unique tagged fish per hour
      • 31724 - Shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus), count of tagged fish per hour
      • 31729 - Shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus), count of unique tagged fish per hour
      • 31721 - Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), count of tagged fish per hour
      • 31726 - Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), count of unique tagged fish per hour
      • 31723 - Sum of bighead, silver and hybrid carp, count of tagged fish per hour
      • 31728 - Sum of bighead, silver and hybrid carp, count of unique tagged fish per hour

    Help System (

    • New code definitions including district code, Landnet, altitude datum, altitude method, drainage basin, data reliability code and source of depth code. (PR 20490)
    • You can now search for a particular statistics code by name or number, as well as get a list of all statistics codes. (PR 30603)
    • The wording for data types has been updated to better define current conditions and recent data. (PR 27791)

    Water Web Services (

    • The site service now offers a search by site name feature. The service will find sites matching the exact name provided, or a partial name provided. Site searches are case insensitive. You can request that matches be from the start of the site name field, or any part of the site name field. See the site service description for more details.
    • The site service no longer accepts time as part of the startDt and endDt URL arguments. (PR 26660)
    • Header comments embedded in tab-delimited (RDB) files for the site service now match equivalent queries in the USGS Water Data for the Nation site. (PR 25729)
    • The instantaneous value service was not reporting the time zone with each instantaneous value. This has been fixed. (PR 30392)

    Mapper (

    • Radio buttons that are disabled are less prominent, making it less likely that a user will try to select them. (PR 28119)
    • If you search for a site by site number, an error will no longer occur if one or more of the selected sites are not associated with an agency code. (PR 29469) In addition, the selected site(s) are easily distinguished because it is surrounded by a yellow halo. (PR 29633)

    April 18, 2014

    We have modified our code to correct the 502 gateway error when using AT&T.  Since this access problem only affected AT&T customers, we suspect that the AT&T proxy server may be stricter on validity of html than other carriers.

    April 14, 2014

    System upgrade completed April 14, 2014

    USGS Water Services (

    • New statistics web service! A new beta statistics web service is available that provides daily, monthly and annual statistics, similar to what is available on the USGS Water Data for the Nation site. Data can be downloaded in a tab-delimited format with more options to come. See the service description or try out the service test tool.
    • WaterML2 support. The instantaneous values, daily values and groundwater levels services now support a new output format: WaterML2, which is now an OpenGeospatial Consortium standard. WaterML 1.1 is still the default format for these services.
    • The site web service now outputs the hydrologic unit code (huc_cd) by default (PR 30742).
    • Service example on home page has been enhanced to allow you to specify a parameter as well as a site number. A bug that was not allowing entry of different site numbers was fixed. The "find sites"  now points to the newest correct URL for the NWIS mapper.
    • Product showcase has additional featured products. Some apps were withdrawn and were removed.
    • FAQ contains common questions about the new statistics service.
    • New contact us link on the menu provides a form for sending us email about our water services. All contact us links now direct requests through the USGS Answers system.

    Water Data for the Nation (

    Bug fixes

    • Daily value retrievals starting prior to 1/1/1851 failed to retrieve any data for the entire period. (PR 26825)
    • State-based aggregated water use data, outputted as tab-delimited (RDB) data, now includes the county names and category names in the comments, rather than the codes. (PR 30605)
    • Instantaneous data availability link now points to the correct page when data is retrieved from (PR 30665)


    • Tab-delimited (RDB) output for groundwater levels now includes site type cd (site_tp_cd). (PR 28372)
    • A more prominent "X" symbol appears on time-series graphs. The "X" indicates the time when a site went down for maintenance. (PR 30645)
    • Groundwater level graphs will now show larger symbols when there are no lines on the graph and few measurements. (PR 29911)
    • If a gage is ice affected, the most recent value is no longer shown if the measurement is marked as ice affected. (PR 30720)
    • The following real-time parameters were enabled for selection: (PR 30690, 30820, 30866, 30787 and 30969)
      • 32319   Phycocyanins (cyanobacteria), water, in situ, fluorometric method, excitation at 590 +-15 nm, emission at 685 +-20 nm, micrograms per liter ug/l
      • 32320   Chlorophylls, water, in situ, fluorometric method, excitation at 470 +-15 nm, emission at 685 +-20 nm, relative fluorescence units (RFU)
      • 32321   Phycocyanins (cyanobacteria), water, in situ, fluorometric method, excitation at 590 +-15 nm, emission at 685 +-20 nm, relative fluorescence units (RFU)
      • 99064   Water surface elevation difference between two locations, feet
      • 32293   UV fluorescence, water, in situ, single band, 370 nm excitation, 470 nm emission, relative fluorescence units
      • 72192   (Precipitation, cumul)
      • 99229   Information Temperature #1, Aquatrak, air temperature of the upper sounding well, degrees Celsius
      • 99230   Information Temperature #2, Aquatrak, air temperature of the bottom sounding well, degrees Celsius

    Mobile USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • Better accessibility support. Rather than see a graph, the user can select a link that shows them the data in a table on the USGS Water Data for the Nation site. (PR 30162)

    Help System (

    • There are three new reference lists added: altitude accuracy, altitude method and data reliability. (PR 30616)
    • Subscription link corrected. (PR 30806)

    February 21, 2014

    We have been notified that the problem that commenced on Feb 19, 2014, with erroneous spikes in graphs and measurements for some real-time sites, has been resolved.

    February 19, 2014

    Users may see erroneous spikes in graphs and measurements for real-time sites on or The USGS is aware of the problem and is actively working on a solution. We will provide an update when there is new information.

    December 13, 2013

    Security Vulnerability Addressed

    Due to a security vulnerability, we can not accept the following characters in a URL:
    %0D which represents a carriage return and
    %0A which represents a line feed.

    A recent security measure has made interpretation more strict and can therefore break old bookmarked queries.

    Replacing all of the %0D %0A with commas, or correct URL encoding of %2C, fixes the "malformed" URL.

    Here is an example of fixing a URL:

    • before
    • after


    End of support for Internet Explorer versions 7 or earlier or issues related to Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows

    The USGS no longer supports Internet Explorer (IE) 7 or earlier versions of IE on the and domains. Since the USGS was required to upgrade all of its Windows computers to Windows 7, there is no way to test fixes for these versions of IE. These versions of IE do not work with Windows 7 and later versions of Windows. The USGS cannot troubleshoot issues that appear only on Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows.

    Internet Explorer users should consider upgrading their operating system. This will allow them to use a newer version of IE, which we support. To work around IE7 and IE8 quirks, users can use different browsers that work with Windows XP.

    Users are encouraged to use the latest version of their browser of choice, as it is less likely that they will notice issues when using this web site. This site is adding useful features that depend on features in newer browsers. Consequently, with newer browsers users should have a more useful user interface and more satisfying experience.

    National Water Information System Mapper (

    The mapper has been updated to consistently show active and inactive sites across the nation. This change will be rolled out in stages in the coming weeks as USGS water science centers update site status codes.

    Previously, wide latitude was given to each USGS water science center to define whether or not a site was active. Now, standardized national criteria are being used.

    A site is considered active if:

    • it has collected time-series (automated) data within the last 183 days (6 months)
    • it has collected discrete (manually collected) data within 397 days (13 months)

    If it does not meet these criteria, it is considered inactive.

    Some exceptions apply. If a site is flagged by a USGS water science center as discontinued, it will show as inactive. A USGS science center can also flag a new site as active even if it has not collected any data.

    Water Data for the Nation (

    This release fixed numerous bugs and added some minor enhancements.

    • The page which allows users to subscribe and unsubscribe to USGS water data system alerts now works properly again. (PR 30614)
    • The same feedback form can no longer be submitted repeatedly. Users may still encounter slow processing of feedback queries. This is due to slowness in the USGS Answers system. Please be patient while your form processes. (PR 30321)
    • Daily mean statistics for "leap days" (years in which February 29 occurs) are now shown in graphs. (PR 27780)
    • Graphs of instantaneous data where values for today should be on the graph by default now appear. (PR 30538)
    • Certain graphs of groundwater were not showing labels for the secondary Y axis. This has been fixed. (PR 30523)
    • Fields will appear or disappear in the predefined display bar based on the predefined display wanted. (PR 7640)
    • Precipitation counts now correctly include 0.00 precipitation values (PR 28465)
    • USGS territories like Northern Mariana Island where no sites exist for certain data categories now show 0 sites instead of ??? (PR 28382)
    • New parameter code added: 32318 - Chlorophylls, water, in situ, fluorometric method, excitation at 470 +-15 nm, emission at 685 +-20 nm, micrograms per liter
    • Current conditions image is now responsive. Text to its right will move underneath it rather than hide parts of the image. (PR 30409)
    • Latitude/longitude box now accepts input when used with groundwater levels searches. (PR 30411)

    Mobile USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • Fixed a bug on some Android phones which did not return the location of the device

    USGS Water Services (

    All four web services have been updated to apply the new criteria for identifying sites as active or inactive. You can continue to use the URL argument siteStatus=active or siteStatus=inactive, but the resulting list of sites returned may be different than those provided in the past.

    October 17, 2013 - Resumption of normal operations

    The USGS Water Data for the Nation site ( is in the process of resuming normal operations. While the system is fully operational, during the federal shutdown some current conditions sites may have stopped transmitting data. Instrumentation at certain other sites may need maintenance or recalibration by local USGS staff to restore the accuracy of the data served. Affected sites will be restored as quickly as possible. Timing will depend on resources and priorities at each USGS water science center. It may take several days or longer before the quality of the data served is the same as before the federal shutdown.

    Questions regarding the operation or quality of data on particular sites should be directed to the local USGS water science center.

    Your patience during this period is appreciated.

    October 1, 2013 - USGS Water Data availability during lapse in Federal funding

    Due to a lapse in Federal funding, the U.S. Geological Survey must suspend those parts of its data collection and distribution processes requiring human intervention.  However, automated reporting and serving of telemetered data will continue.

    Users may note some degradation in the quality and completeness of real-time streamflow and water-quality data from some reporting stations due to the suspension of field calibrations and adjustments, especially as high flows occur, aquatic vegetation becomes dominant, or ice forms in high altitude streams.  The USGS will continue to monitor some performance aspects of its network using a skeleton workforce.

    September 16, 2013

    The following parameter codes had their reporting units changed from CFS to ft3/s:

    • 00060 - Discharge, cubic feet per second
    • 00061 - Discharge, instantaneous, cubic feet per second
    • 62856 - Discharge, peak for storm event, cubic feet per second
    • 72122 - Discharge, median for storm event, cubic feet per second
    • 72123 - Discharge, mean for storm event, cubic feet per second
    • 72137 - Discharge, tidally filtered, cubic feet per second

    August 23, 2013

    Some changes have been applied since our August 7, 2013 release. These changes were needed to fix issues that were reported by users and/or missed due to the complexity of the release.

    Mobile USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • The list of known problems has been updated for the mobile site as it receives more testing on different devices. Thanks to all for reporting issues with this beta system.
    • We introduced a fix that makes geolocation work for certain older Android devices. If you are experiencing the problem, clear your cache and refresh the page.
    • We have noticed usability issues with desktop browsers and the mobile site, particularly with older versions of IE. We do not guarantee the mobile site will work acceptably or at all on desktop browsers. If you are experiencing issues, it tends to work better on desktops in newer versions of Firefox and Chrome.

    USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    • The map image on the real-time pages for states and the USA, with color dots for current condition sites, no longer shrinks when the browser width shrinks. This fix was needed because individual sites could not be selected from the map accurately when the map image shrunk. The map image is now on top so it should always appear.
    • The latitude/longitude data entry box has been fixed. In many cases it would not accept entry of values.
    • We now detect mobile browsers and if you have a mobile device we provide a link encouraging you to check out our mobile site.

    USGS Water Services (

    • The instantaneous and daily values service no longer sends XML data (&format=waterml) and JSON (&format=json) indented with spaces for easy display. By default this unadvertised feature has been turned off. If you need data to be indented add the &indent=on argument to the URL. When used, four spaces will be added to the start of the line for each level of indentation when &indent=on is requested. This feature does not apply to the groundwater levels service or the site service.
    • For a few days after the release, the time zone and milliseconds were not added to WaterML and JSON output. This has been fixed.
    • The groundwater levels service now supports the argument &format=waterml,1.2, which is consistent with the documentation.
    • The groundwater levels service had a bug that duplicated timezone offsets in certain unusual cases. This has been fixed.
    • Updated the FAQ to provide guidance on the maximum number of requests that constitute acceptable usage of the service in a shared environment. Usage beyond this guidance may result in being blocked.

    Help System (

    • There is a new tutorial for plotting multiple parameters for a site and plotting multiple sites for a parameter.

    August 7, 2013

    This release includes a lot of exciting new features, particularly for those who access USGS Water Data with mobile devices. We have a new beta mobile web site and we have taken big steps to make the main site more mobile-friendly.

    Introducing *Beta* Mobile USGS Water Data for the Nation (

    Mobile traffic now accounts for a quarter of visits on the USGS Water Data for the Nation site. Tablet devices account for about nine percent of visits. To better accommodate mobile and tablet devices, the USGS has created a mobile-friendly water data site designed for smartphones. If your focus is current condition information only, you may find that you will prefer the simplicity of the mobile site to the main site.

    Given the large variety of mobile devices and that this is the USGS water community's first effort to create a mobile-friendly site, the site is being released as a beta. This means that you could experience minor to severe usability issues. Older devices are also much more likely to experience serious issues. Use of private browsing may cause issues with sites not appearing. We have created a mobile known problems page that we will keep up to date that discusses common reported problems and any workarounds.

    Some notes about this new mobile site:

    • Minimally, you need a smart mobile device with a modern web browser that is "app"-friendly.
    • The site focuses on showing you current conditions near your mobile device, although you can use the site to find USGS current conditions for water sites across the United States.
    • You can save your favorite sites.
    • You can easily access to the full USGS Water Data for the Nation site, should you need it, from the menu button.
    • While the site is mobile-friendly, the site is not an app, so there is nothing to download or install and it won't appear in your mobile device's store. Just use your mobile web browser and go to
    • The mobile site is not guaranteed to work acceptably or at all on non-mobile devices. This includes tablets, laptop or desktop computers and many e-Book readers. Older versions of Internet Explorer are especially problematic. When using non-mobile devices, the assigned geographic location may be somewhat approximated if your device lacks a GPS.
    • A tutorial is available.

    If you have any feedback on how to make the mobile site more friendly, please send us a comment. It is likely that more features will be added in the years ahead.

    Water Data for the Nation (

    • Better user experience for portable devices. - We have begun a multi-year project to make this site friendlier to all devices with smaller screens, including mobile devices and tablets. This involves updating frequently accessed pages to use the newest web standard (HTML 5) and retrofitting screens so they flow better at smaller screen widths (responsive design). Details:
      • If we detect that you are using mobile device, we will give you the option to go to our new mobile site.
      • Content resizing
        • When your browser's window width is below 770 pixels or 180 pixels, content that would normally appear on the left side of the screen and could only be seen through scrolling horizontally will instead appear beneath the main content of the page. Font sizes shrink a bit as well, so more content can be seen on smaller screens.
        • When screen widths are less than 770 pixels, the data category select box shows on a second row.
        • Graphs will automatically reduce in size to optimally fit smaller screen widths.
        • The predefined displays navigation bar on the station page will move to multiple rows at smaller screen widths.
        • Site location map will shrink at smaller screen widths.
      • Of minor note:
        • Two output formats disappear at smaller screen widths: scroll list of sites and save file of sites for future upload.
        • The subscribe for system changes page is responsive.
        • Page headers and footers are also responsive. Less commonly used text will disappear as screen width gets smaller.
        • The feedback form has been made responsive.
    • More usable user interface
      • Buttons on top level pages used for principle system navigation have been replaced and made to look more attractive. The buttons use rounded corners, gradients, box shadows, facilitate hover text and are image-less.
      • The news banner has been updated to look more attractive and to be more dynamic.
      • Tool tips no longer use an image (PR 30146).
      • Sorting and filtering of tabular data. Many tables of data can now be sorted on demand and are also dynamically filterable and easier to view. See the tutorial. All lists of sites now use dynamic tables with the exception of predefined displays such as state-wide streamflow tables. Certain groundwater field measurements and water quality samples and results also have the new look. There are many tables of data that still need to be modified, including displays of time series data, and which will be fixed in future releases.
        • Sorting tables. Most tables allow you to sort columns in the table in ascending or descending sequence by clicking on the column's header. Click twice to get a descending sort. Holding down the SHIFT key while clicking on column headers allows selecting multiple columns for multi-column sorts.
        • Filtering tables. Most tables include a filter row. Type a value in a column of the filter row and the table will automatically filter the content to show only data meeting your filter. You can also use expressions, like <25 to see rows containing less than 25 in the column. If you specify a filter for more than one column, the data is filtered based on both conditions.
        • Alternating rows often have different background colors, allowing rows to be more easily distinguished.
        • It is usually easier to distinguish a row you want to focus on from adjacent rows by clicking on it. In many tables the row will be highlighted with a yellow background color.
        • Certain lesser-used columns will disappear on smaller screens, such as agency code. At very small screen widths the period of record columns will disappear.
        • The sorted-by output format for a table of sites has been removed because this functionality is handled with the new dynamic tables.
      • The feedback form can hide state-specific text.
      • Readability of popups when you hover over help fields has been improved.
    • Plot Multiple Sites for a Parameter
      • Graphs now support the ability to compare a single parameter for up to three sites. For example, you can compare streamflow for three sites on the same river at the same time to see the impact of flooding on the river at various points. On a station page, select the "Add up to 2 more sites and replot" option by putting the site numbers into the text box next to the graph and then pressing the GO button. Like the Plot Multiple Parameters for a Site option introduced in April, the graphs are dynamic and created in your web browser. You can change periods of focus to get more detail. The feature works for instantaneous and daily values graphs.
    • Plot Multiple Parameters for a Site
      • Please read the new disclaimer. While it is possible to compare various parameters for a site, in some cases making inferences is error prone. Caution is especially required when selecting parameters that use different vertical datums.
      • The feature now correctly plots values between 00:00 and 04:00 (PR 30060, PR 30061).
      • Fixed symbology issues with graphs in IE 8 (PR 30199).
    • Bugs fixed
      • Retrievals by partial aquifer code (ex: ALVM) now work (PR 28412).
      • You can unselect all graphs on station pages with one click (PR 28939).
      • You can select or unselect all parameters for a site. If all are selected the label will change to "Unselect all xx Available Parameters for this site" (PR 26382)
      • Obsolete links to tutorials in old help system now point to the new help system (PR 29764).
      • A number of minor accessibility issues were fixed. (PR 28725, 28744)
      • We added instructions on how to change your email address for you are subscribed to receive announcements (PR 25202).
      • Discrete measurements now appear in tab-separated files for sites in the Pacific (PR 28999).
      • If a graph for a site cannot be plotted for logical reasons such as the site number does not exist, the site exists in a state outside of the state with focus, or no data was collected for the period requested, the page will indicate that these sites could not be plotted (PR 29961 and PR 29772).
      • Daily summary data links on top-level groundwater and water quality pages no longer point to a daily summary for surface water (PR 28631).
      • Daily values graphs for a year now correctly show a year's worth of values (PR 28445).
      • Streamflow measurements table now correctly wraps minus sign when negative shift adjustments are displayed (PR 28468).
      • When using the "build table" option, the resulting page now shows the correct URL in the bottom left corner of the page (PR 25017).
      • Changed incorrect information that suggested a site number could have only 7 numbers. It must have a minimum of 8 numbers. (PR 29773).
      • Fixed water quality field/lab sample count on USA water quality page (PR 30007).
    • New real-time parameters
      • 62610 Groundwater level above NGVD 1929, feet (PR 29850)
      • 82632 Area, cross-section FROM RADAR (ft2) (PR 30207)
      • 72120 Reservoir storage, total pool, percent of capacity (PR 30235)
      • 72121 Reservoir storage, live pool, percent of capacity (PR 30235)
    • Site Mapper
      • Added control to zoom directly to area near a site (PR 28060)
      • When focused on a site using the feature to show a site on a map, you can change the base layer (PR 28924)

    National Water Information System Mapper (

    • Several updates to layout provide more space for the map view:
      • Map navigation tools were moved from a side panel to a toolbar on the map.
      • Help and Page Information buttons were moved to the page header.
      • Blank margins were removed from around the map view.
    • Several changes were made to the map display options:
      • Moved Base Map selection below Map Layers because they are changed less frequently (PR 30340).
      • Added Principal Aquifers as an optional map layer.
    • Site Type is now included in the pop-up information that is displayed when you select a site. (PR 27179).
    • Site Type is now included in the list of sites table, which can be sorted by Site Type or any other column heading. (30370)
    • Longitude/latitude display was added that indicates position of the map cursor (PR 22245).
    • List of sites is now being purged if no sites are found when a map is updated (PR 27909).
    • The error message has been improved when more than 2500 sites have been requested (PR 29780).
    • Map instructions (Help) were updated to include new and updated features.


    Help System (

    • You can now download parameter codes and parameter codes by group as tab-delimited (RDB) files, similar to the old help system (PR 28549).
    • You can now find codes by full or partial parameter name, parameter number, Chemical Abstracts Registry Search Number (CASRN) and EPA Substance Registry Services (SRS), similar to the old help system (PR 28549 and PR 28564).
    • If data can be downloaded as a tab-delimited file, it can also be seen on the screen in a fixed-width format, similar to the old help system (PR 28550).
    • There is a FAQ for dynamic graphs, which include plotting multiple parameters for a site and plotting multiple sites for a parameter (PR 29188).
    • Two new water level method codes were added (PR 29979).
    • There is a tutorial for the new mobile site (PR 30159).
    • There is a tutorial on the new table sorter

    USGS Water Services (

    • Web services on have been configured to support Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS). Supporting CORS allows data in these services to be acquired directly through asynchronous browser queries when invoked by browsers that support the CORS specification. In the past, a server-side proxy on the same domain serving the data was required. At this time CORS is supported for all domains using the HTTP GET protocol. The HTTP POST protocol is not supported. By enabling support for CORS the USGS is hoping it will spur the development of Web 2.0 applications using USGS water services. The USGS will be carefully monitoring this feature. It may be further opened up or require developers to apply to allow their domain to use the service.
    • Two minor site service bugs were fixed. Now when dataTypeCd=id, all data returned is associated with parameter 00060 (streamflow) only. This is because data originated in the Instantaneous Data Archive, which contains only streamflow data. (PR 28878) Also, parameterCd=all and variable=all now work correctly. Previously they only worked if "all" was in upper case. (PR 29391).
    • Fixed two bugs with groundwater levels service. It failed (HTTP 503 error) in the unusual case for sites having the UTC time zone and where daylight savings time was asserted or when the parameter 00000 was requested. (PR 30035 and 30036).
    • GZip data compression is available for all services, not just the instantaneous values service. For details on how you can speed up data transfer see the service description for the service you are interested in.