Cost effectiveness of the stream-gaging program in North Dakota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 89-4068




This report documents results of a cost-effectiveness study of the stream-gaging program In North Dakota. It is part of a nationwide evaluation of the stream-gaging program of the U.S. Geological Survey.

One phase of evaluating cost effectiveness is to identify less costly alternative methods of simulating streamflow records. Statistical or hydro logic flow-routing methods were used as alternative methods to simulate streamflow records for 21 combinations of gaging stations from the 94-gaging-station network. Accuracy of the alternative methods was sufficient to consider discontinuing only one gaging station.

Operation of the gaging-station network was evaluated by using associated uncertainty in streamflow records. The evaluation was limited to the nonwinter operation of 29 gaging stations in eastern North Dakota. The current (1987) travel routes and measurement frequencies require a budget of about $248/000 and result in an average equivalent Gaussian spread in streamflow records of 16.5 percent. Changes in routes and measurement frequencies optimally could reduce the average equivalent Gaussian spread to 14.7 percent.

Budgets evaluated ranged from $235,000 to $400,000. A $235,000 budget would increase the optimal average equivalent Gaussian spread from 14.7 to 20.4 percent, and a $400,000 budget could decrease it to 5.8 percent.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Cost effectiveness of the stream-gaging program in North Dakota
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
North Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
iv, 34 p.