Part of the mission of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is to protect and preserve South Carolina's water resources. Doing so requires an ongoing understanding of streamflow characteristics of the rivers and streams in South Carolina. A particular need is information concerning the low-flow characteristics of streams, which is especially important for effectively managing the State's water resources during critical flow periods, such as during periods of severe drought like South Carolina has experienced in the last decade or so. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, initiated a study in 2008 to update low-flow statistics at continuous-record streamgaging stations operated by the U.S. Geological Survey in South Carolina. This report presents the low-flow statistics for 25 selected streamgaging stations in the Saluda, Congaree, and Edisto River basins in South Carolina, and includes flow durations for the 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-,75-, 90-, and 95-percent exceedances and the annual minimum 1-, 3-, 7-, 14-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day average flows with recurrence intervals of 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50 years, depending on the length of record available at the streamgaging station. The low-flow statistics were computed from records available through March 31, 2009. Of the 25 streamgaging stations for which recurrence interval computations were made, 20 were compared to low-flow statistics that were published in previous U.S. Geological Survey reports. A comparison of the low-flow statistics for the annual minimum 7-day average streamflow with a 10-year recurrence interval (7Q10) from this study with the most recently published values indicates that 18 of the 20 streamgaging stations have values lower than the previous published values. The low-flow statistics are influenced by length of record, hydrologic regime under which the record was collected, analytical techniques used, and other changes, such as urbanization, diversions, droughts, and so on, that may have occurred in the basin.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Low-flow frequency and flow duration of selected South Carolina streams in the Saluda, Congaree, and Edisto River basins through March 2009