Study finds open data gaps in stream monitoring

gauging datasets mostly perennial rivers, urban drainage basins

A new Penn. State University study analyzed datasets from the Global Streamflow Indices and Metadata Archive.

Data suggest that of more than 32,000 stream gauges, the majority are sited and overrepresent certain large, perennial waterways with urban drainage basins.

Senior author Dr. Corey A. Krabbenhoft, RENEW Institute at University of Buffalo, stated that the distribution of more gauges in “protected areas and rivers characterized by non-perennial flow regimes… are critical to freshwater conservation and water security concerns.”

Published in Nature Sustainability, the resulting interdisciplinary report identifies stream monitoring opportunities, highlighting potential priorities for the future installation of monitoring tools.

The research was a product of the Dry Rivers Research Coordination Network, supported by funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation to Dr. Daniel C. Allen, Ph.D., at Penn State.

Note: The reference datasets were missing information from independently or privately monitored activities because the data isn’t integrated into public databases.

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