North Carolina Water Science Center
ABOUT THE NC WATER SCIENCE CENTER
USGS IN YOUR STATE
USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
USGS Hydrologic Data in and around Mecklenburg County, N.C.
Rainfall Distribution map for July 20, 2012 storm now available
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has collected streamflow data in North Carolina for more than 100 years (USGS Water Programs in North Carolina, FS-046-01). In the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County area, a hydrologic data-collection network has been established to collect not only streamflow data but also rainfall and water-quality data. This data-collection network is cooperatively supported by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services. Because of the floods of August 1995 and July 1997 (Effects of August 1995 and July 1997 Storms in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, FS-036-98), the network has been expanded over the last 10 years resulting in more than 70 raingages and 50+ streamgages. Other State and local agencies cooperatively support an additional 11 sites in surrounding counties.
The entire network is equipped with radio or satellite telemetry that transmits data in 15-minute intervals every 1-4 hours. During storm events, immediate reporting of data occurs as extreme conditions or thresholds are exceeded at a given site. These thresholds are used for tracking extreme hydrologic conditions during floods and droughts.
The data collected at these sites are used by scientists, engineers, and managers to detect potential problems with water-quality and quantity, determine flood-prone areas, determine long-term trends, and aid in the design of bridges and culverts. These data also can be used to provide advanced notification of possible flooding conditions to the National Weather Service and local emergency personnel, thereby enabling a faster response and possible mitigation of flood-related problems.