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Everything you need to know

What are Monitoring Location Pages?

Monitoring location pages are web pages that the USGS Water Mission Area offers to display important water data like discharge (also referred to as streamflow), gage height, precipitation, water-levels, temperature, etc. Thousands of people use USGS water data each month to make decisions ranging from recreation to emergency management.

Screenshot of a next generation monitoring location page for 04157005, which is associated with a STREAM in SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN.

A Next Generation Monitoring Location Page for ‘04157005, which is associated with a STREAM in SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN’.

Why Are We Changing Them?

Thanking Outdated Technology

The original monitoring location pages have largely looked the same ‘since their inception in 1995’. We are confident they were one of the first displays of real-time water-data anywhere in the world at a time when the web was only 5 years old and rarely displayed “live” content of any kind. Wow!

The technology used to produce the original pages, what we call legacy pages, is now outdated, and prevents crucial updates from being made. But we need to meet accessibility standards, stay modern, and increase user satisfaction, so we have created ‘new, Next Generation monitoring location pages’. We give thanks to the decades of skilled software-programming work put into the legacy pages and we recognize how much they have provided to the public. We are thrilled to modernize our water data delivery as we “go live” with the NextGen pages.

Screen capture of a legacy monitoring location page for 01584050 LONG GREEN CREEK AT GLEN ARM, MD.

Here’s an example of a legacy page, showing ‘monitoring location 01584050 LONG GREEN CREEK AT GLEN ARM, MD’.

What Does “Live” Mean? When will “Live” happen?

NextGen pages have been online and accessible for approximately two years, in what we have called the beta stage of our agile development process. Beta means the pages are accessible to the public and available for user testing. During beta, we have made many changes.

When NextGen pages go live in October 2021, they will become the default page for search engines and for web traffic. The old legacy pages will still be useable for a while longer, but around March 2022 your web browser will be redirected away from them by default. By January 2023 we expect to decommission these legacy real-time pages entirely, meaning you will no longer be able to view them.

4 part chart that goes from left to right describing the agile process. The four steps are discovery, alpha, beta, and live.

The Agile Development Process as the WDFN team uses it.

Pages Continue to Improve

You spoke, We Listened! #WeHeardYou

During this beta phase of the next generation pages, ‘we asked you, the user, how these pages could better serve you’. Pages will continue to be improved iteratively to create discoverable, accessible, and usable Water Data for the Nation.

How We Work

Learn more about how we work and use the agile development process to display high quality water information. Discover how we’ve improved the pages so far.

How Are NextGen Pages Different from Legacy Pages?

These NextGen pages have new features, offering more than just a 1:1 replacement of legacy pages.

Side by side comparison of screenshots for next generation monitoring location page and legacy real time page for the same monitoring location 04157005, which is associated with a STREAM in SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN.

A side by side comparison of the next generation monitoring location page versus the legacy real time page for monitoring location ‘04157005, which is associated with a STREAM in SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN’.

5 Key Differences

Data-first: Hydrograph at top, except for key alerts

Interactive: Featuring a clickable, zoomable hydrograph with the ability to compare prior data

Compact & Mobile-First: More things on one page – monitoring location metadata, water-data inventory, groundwater data, interactive map, etc, all summarized on one page

Geo-located: Featuring a map with flowlines, shaded watershed area, and nearby monitoring locations

Affiliated networks: A monitoring location belong to larger groupings of monitoring locations, and these pages let you explore those groupings to see the bigger picture of water resources

How to stay connected through this process

Software Updates

Follow along with our software changes - please check back soon for a link to our GitLab! Check out our blog for additional releases and related work.


Tune in to our public webinar, scheduled for October 13th, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST. Sign up for the webinar today!’ Can’t make the live event? Submit your questions beforehand by emailing us at, and catch the recording which we’ll share through social media.

Social Media

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A post shared by USGS Streamgages Of Instagram (@usgs_streamgages)

How-To Video

In this short video, discover how you can easily use these Next Generation monitoring location pages. We’ll walk you through common functions and page uses. Please check back soon for a link to this video!

Next Generation Summary Video

We recorded this talk just for you. In just a few minutes, this video describes all the changes that are happening to the monitoring location pages, and why. Please check back soon for a link to this video!

Who can you contact about these changes?

Is there something specific you’d like to address that isn’t covered in the resources we have? Do you have a new feature request?

Contact us by sending an email to