Those interested may now receive instant, customized updates about water conditions by subscribing to WaterAlert, a new service from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Whether watching for floods, interested in recreational activities or concerned about the quality of water in a well, WaterAlert allows to receive daily or hourly updates about current conditions in rivers, lakes and groundwater when they match conditions of concern.
WaterAlert allows users to receive updates about river flows, groundwater levels, water temperatures, rainfall and water quality at any of more than 9,500 sites where USGS collects real-time water information. The information is crucial for managing water resources, including during floods, droughts and chemical spills.
WaterAlert also allows kayakers, rafters and boaters to better understand when conditions are optimal and safe for recreational activities.
WaterAlert users start at http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert and select a specific site. Users then select the preferred delivery method (e-mail or text), whether they want hourly or daily notifications, which data parameter they are interested in and the threshold for those parameters. Users can set the system to alert them when conditions are above a value, below a value and between or outside of a range.
For example, emergency managers may be interested in setting up alerts when thresholds are exceeded, such as in the case of a flood. Water-supply managers could set an alert for times when groundwater well levels are low enough to require shutdown of supply pumps. Recreational rafters may find it useful to set a threshold that lets them know when the water levels are high enough to pass over rocks but not so high as to be unsafe.
There is no limit to the number of subscriptions per user at a single site or multiple sites.