The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Georgia Water Science Center (WSC) maintains a long-term hydrologic monitoring network of more than 290 real-time streamgages, more than 170 groundwater wells, and 10 lake and reservoir monitoring stations. One of the many benefits of data collected from this monitoring network is that analysis of the data provides an overview of the hydrologic conditions of rivers, creeks, reservoirs, and aquifers in Georgia.
Hydrologic conditions are determined by statistical analysis of data collected during the current water year (WY) and comparison of the results to historical data collected at long-term stations. During the drought that persisted through 2008, the USGS succeeded in verifying and documenting numerous historic low-flow statistics at many streamgages and current water levels in aquifers, lakes, and reservoirs in Georgia. Streamflow data from the 2008 WY indicate that this drought is one of the most severe on record when compared to drought periods of 1950-1957, 1985-1989, and 1999-2002.