What is USGS WaterALERT?

The U.S. Geological Survey WaterAlert service sends e-mail or text messages when certain parameters measured by a USGS data-collection station exceed user-definable thresholds. The development and maintenance of the WaterAlert system is supported through the USGS Cooperative Water Program, the USGS National Streamflow Information Program, and by USGS data-collection partners, including numerous federal, state, and local agencies. All WaterAlert data are made available from the National Water Information System.

Real-time data from USGS gages are transmitted via satellite or other telemetry to USGS offices at various intervals; in most cases, once every 1 or 4 hours. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent. Notifications will be based on the data received at these site-dependent intervals.

How to Subscribe

  1. Select the Site and Data Type – Use the interactive map on the website to browse the network of USGS real-time sites in one or more contiguous states or territories by data type. If you already know a site by its number or partial name within your current selection, you may map it directly by entering it in the "Search this selection" field. Use the zoom tools in the upper left of the map to focus on your area of interest. On the map, click on the site's marker for which you would like to get notifications, then click "Subscribe". Each notification subscription must be submitted separately. You must allow pop-up windows from this site.
  2. Submit Your Subscription Form – Choose to receive the notifications at either your email address or text-enabled (SMS) mobile phone. Select your desired notification settings; i.e. data type, threshold condition, and frequency.
  3. Confirm your Subscription – Shortly after you submit your form, a message containing your transaction ID will be sent to the email address you specified.  You must reply to this email message, without altering it, in order to confirm and activate your subscription.


  • Before you subscribe, please read the Provisional Data Statement.
  • About subscriptions:
    • All subscriptions, including text messaging, must be confirmed by return email in order to be activated (details given when you subscribe).
    • A subscription is for one data-type parameter and threshold condition per site. You may subscribe to multiple parameters at a site.
    • Threshold settings can be changed by submitting a subscription for the same site and data parameter.