Press Release

Gillibrand Announces Nearly $34 Million in Federal Funds for Stream Gauge Network

Jan 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $33.7 million to expand the national stream gauge network is included in the omnibus appropriations bill set to pass Congress this week.  The funding is a $6 million increase to current funding, and can help strengthen stream gauges in upstate New York that provide critical flood warnings during extreme weather.

“After back-to-back years of storms that swept away roads, bridges, businesses and entire communities, we know stream gauges are key to staying ahead of the storm, and keeping our families safe,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment can help keep the necessary precautions in place that monitor and protect us from natural environmental changes and disasters.” 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow information, currently collected at more than 8,000 stream gauges, provides the scientific basis for protecting, managing, and sustaining freshwater that is safe and available for drinking and for other competing water demands, including for irrigation, energy, industry, recreation, and ecosystem health.  The information is available in “real time,” which is critical to protect and minimize loss of life and property from water hazards, including floods, droughts, and debris flows.

Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 proved the importance of forecasting and early warning systems. The federal funding will be used to expand America’s stream gauge networks, such as those along the Susquehanna River Basin, the Mohawk River, Oswego River and Upper Hudson River Basin. The gauges measure rainfall in areas at risk of flooding and are a key tool that provide data for emergency responders, local officials, and residents.