On Nov. 4, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Water Survey of Canada (WSC) announced another milestone achieved through their cooperation, the North America WaterWatch (NAWW). NAWW is a website displaying streamflow conditions throughout much of North America. The site provides a fast, easy-to-use, cartographically based central web interface for users to access real-time streamflow conditions for both Canada and the United States. Users can also access past streamflow data from thousands of stream gages in both nations. Additionally, NAWW can be accessed online in both English and French.
The NAWW site is arranged similarly to USGS Water Watch. Real-time instantaneous flow data are compared against historical daily streamflow percentiles at hydrometric monitoring stations. The stations are then color coded on the map to indicate current flow conditions in relation to normal conditions based on statistical thresholds (for instance, much below normal, below normal, normal, above normal, much above normal, and high). The timely availability of these streamflow indicators is vital to water managers and the general public, as the easily recognized indicators constitute a direct link between hydrological field information and the assessment of risks.
NAWW displays streamflow conditions in Canada for about 1000 real-time flow stations with more than 20 years of continuous streamflow records selected from three different data sources, including the Water Survey of Canada, the Centre d’expertise hydrique du Québec, and Alberta Environment. Streamflow conditions in the U.S. are shown for roughly 8000 real-time flow stations. The data on the website are updated hourly, and daily statistics are updated quarterly.