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News Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey


Release: August 28, 2009
Contact:
Chris Curran
253-552-1614

John Clemens
253-552-1635

Study Helps "Right-Size" River Gaging Network

Lummi Nation water managers now have more tools to help them cope with increasing demand for water resources, and to make sure they have the right number of stream-gaging stations, according to details in a report announced today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The Lummi Nation has partnered with the USGS on six stream-gaging stations in the basin and uses streamflow data from the stations to manage its natural resources. The USGS analyzed streamflow records for the stations to identify redundancies and increase efficiency of the whole gaging network.

In a separate, related analysis, USGS scientists looked at low-flow statistics for the basin and came up with a method for estimating low flows in streams where there are no gaging stations.

"This method has the potential to save money for the Lummi Nation," said Chris Curran, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the report. "At the same time, it ensures an adequate coverage of gages across the network to keep delivering the streamflow data it needs."

The Washington State Department of Ecology provided funding for the study.

The report, "Estimating Low-Flow Frequency Statistics and Hydrologic Analysis of Selected Streamflow-Gaging Stations, Nooksack River Basin, Northwestern Washington and Canada," by Christopher A. Curran and Theresa D. Olsen, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5170. The report is available on the Web at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5170/ .

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