• Cost Effectiveness of the US Geological Survey's Stream-gaging Program in New York

      Wolcott, Stephen W.; Gannon, William B.; Johnston, William H.; USGS (1986-01-01)
      The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a 5-year nationwide analysis to define and document the most cost effective means of obtaining streamflow data. This report describes the stream gaging network in New York and documents the cost effectiveness of its operation; it also identifies data uses and funding sources for the 174 continuous-record stream gages currently operated (1983). Those gages as well as 189 crest-stage, stage-only, and groundwater gages are operated with a budget of $1.068 million. One gaging station was identified as having insufficient reason for continuous operation and was converted to a crest-stage gage. Current operation of the 363-station program requires a budget of $1.068 million/yr. The average standard error of estimation of continuous streamflow data is 13.4%. Results indicate that this degree of accuracy could be maintained with a budget of approximately $1.006 million if the gaging resources were redistributed among the gages. The average standard error for 174 stations was calculated for five hypothetical budgets. A minimum budget of $970,000 would be needed to operated the 363-gage program; a budget less than this does not permit proper servicing and maintenance of the gages and recorders. Under the restrictions of a minimum budget, the average standard error would be 16.0%. The maximum budget analyzed was $1.2 million, which would decrease the average standard error to 9.4%. (Author 's abstract)