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Thursday, March 26, 2009

River Gauges May be Shut Down

The blame is being put on budget constraints, but whatever the reason, some 50 New York State United States Geologic Survey stream flow gauges are planned to be closed down. Some of these gauges could be closed in as little as three months from now, others by September 2010.

The Upper Delaware River System has three gauges that are planned to be closed in September 2010. The Cooks Falls gauge on the Beaverkill, in operation for 96 years; the Calicoon gauge on the Delaware River, in operation for 34 years and the Port Jervis gauge, operating for 105 years are scheduled to be history. Other imortant tributary gauges, such as the Oquaga Creek gauge are also on the hit list of closures with a scheduled closing date of September 30, 2009 . A complete list can be found at waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/rt

The USGS is looking for new funding partners for these gauges. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides funding for many of the gauges in the region and their decision to cut back is one of the triggers in the closings.

These gauges are important for managing recreational interests, but more importantly they help forecast floods and help manage disasters.

The effected gauges have the following notice on their websites: “Data collection at the following stream gages may be discontinued due to funding reductions from partner agencies. Although historic data will remain accessible, no new data will be collected unless one or more new funding partners are found. Users who can contribute funding for the non-Federal share of costs to continue operation of these stream gages should contact Rafael Rodriguez, Director of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518/285-5658, rrodrigu@usgs.gov.”