USGS Home Page
Water Resources of Alaska

The U.S. Geological Survey is the principal Federal water-data agency and, as such, collects and dissem inates about 70 percent of the water data currently being used by numerous State, local, private, and other Federal agencies to develop and manage our water resources. As part of the Geological Survey's program of releasing water data to the public, a large-scale computerized system has been developed for the storage and retrieval of water data collected through its activities. The National WATer Data STOrage and REtrieval System (WATSTORE) was established in 1972 to provide an effective and efficient means for the processing and maintenance of water data collected through the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey and to facilitate release of the data to the public. A variety of useful products, ranging from data tables to complex statistical analyses such as log-Pearson Type III, can be produced using WATSTORE. The system resides on the central computer facilities of the U.S. Geological Survey at its National Center in Reston, Virginia, and consists of related files and data bases.

* Station Header File - Contains descriptive information on more than 440,000 sites throughout the United States and its territories where the U.S. Geological Survey collects or has collected data.

* Daily Values File - Contains more than 220 million daily values of streamflows, stages, reservoir contents, water temperatures, specific conductances, sediment concentrations, sediment discharges, and ground-water levels.

* Peak Flow File - Contains approximately 500,000 maximum (peak) streamflow and gage-height values at surface-water sites.

* Water Quality File - Contains approximately 2 million analyses of water samples that describe the chemical, physical, biological, and radiochemical characteristics of both surface and ground water.

* Ground-Water Site Inventory Data Base - Contains inventory data for more than 900,000 wells, springs, and other sources of ground water. The data include site location, geohydrologic characteristics, well-construction history, and one-time field measurements such as water temperature.

In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey opened WATSTORE to the public for direct access. The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Survey is required to obtain direct access to WATSTORE. The system can be accessed either synchronously or asynchronously. The requester will be expected to pay all computer costs incurred. Direct access may be obtained by contacting:

U.S. Geological Survey
National Water Data Exchange
421 USGS National Center
Reston, Virginia 20192

In addition to providing direct access to WATSTORE, data can be provided in various machine-readable formats on magnetic tape or floppy disk. Information about the availability of specific types of data or products, and user charges, can be obtained locally from each of the Water Resources Division's District offices. (See address on the back of the title page.) Nationwide information on water resources, including real-time and historic streamflow data, water-use data, publications and USGS program activities, can be found at URL: .


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Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2001

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Last Modified: June 29, 2001

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