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WaterAlert for Owasco Lake

I just received this in an email from USGS, you can sign up receive a text message if a tributary reaches flood levels, very cool.


Instant Information about Water Conditions:  Ask the River to Text You a WaterAlert

Sign up at http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert.

Now you can receive instant, customized updates about water conditions by subscribing to WaterAlert, a new service from the U.S. Geological Survey. Whether you are watching for floods, interested in recreational activities or concerned about the quality of water in your well, WaterAlert allows you to receive daily or hourly updates about current conditions in rivers, lakes and groundwater when they match conditions of concern to you.

“Real-time water data are essential to those making daily decisions about water-related activities, whether for resource management, business operations, flood response or recreation,” said Matt Larsen, USGS Associate Director for Water. “WaterAlert continues USGS efforts to make data immediately available and relevant to every user.”

WaterAlert allows users to receive updates about river flows, groundwater levels, water temperatures, rainfall and water quality at any of more than 9,500 sites where USGS collects real-time water information. This information is crucial for managing water resources, including during floods, droughts and chemical spills.

“This is fantastic,” said Jim Cantore, Weather Channel field meteorologist. “The new WaterAlert system from the USGS provides the latest river information to people in harm's way. This could be the first alert to a developing flood and can even help out during drought periods.”

WaterAlert also allows kayakers, rafters and boaters to better understand when conditions are optimal and safe for recreational activities.

“The WaterAlert service is a fantastic resource for boaters of all abilities and disciplines,” said Wade Blackwood, executive director of the American Canoe Association. “During rain events, water levels on some rivers can rise quickly. This service will be useful as a warning system and will keep paddlers aware of water conditions in order to paddle safely.”

WaterAlert users start at http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert and select a specific site. Users then select the preferred delivery method (email or text), whether they want hourly or daily notifications, which data parameter they are interested in, and the threshold for those parameters. Users can set the system to alert them when conditions are above a value, below a value, and between or outside of a range.

For example, emergency managers may be interested in setting up alerts when thresholds are exceeded, such as in the case of a flood. Water-supply managers could set an alert for times when groundwater well levels are low enough to require shutdown of supply pumps. Recreational rafters may find it useful to set a threshold that lets them know when the water levels are high enough to pass over rocks but not so high as to be unsafe. There is no limit to the number of subscriptions per user at a single site or multiple sites.

The USGS operates an extensive, real-time water information network, involving 9,081 continuous and partial record streamgages, as well as 369 lake, 1,278 well and 3,632 precipitation gages throughout the United States. USGS Water Science Centers in each state can provide more detailed information on water conditions and USGS response to local events.


USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit USGS.gov, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels.
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Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.

One Day CCC Course Offering: Using Online Technology for Watershed Stewardship

Title: Using Online Technology for Watershed Stewardship

Date:  May 17th (other dates later in the summer as well)
6:30-9:30 PM.

Audience: Local Town Officials, Citizen Organizations, General Public

Price: $49

Description: Understanding and managing watersheds to protect water quality is becoming increasingly important. In New York State, land use decisions that dictate the use and control of the land are made at the local level. A variety of technologies are now available to enhance these processes and greatly improve access to data and information. Using data describing the Owasco Lake watershed as examples, discussion will include the importance of understanding environmentally sensitive areas and the use of computer modeled results in watershed management. Participants will be introduced to the Owasco Watershed Network (OWN), a new resource for Owasco Lake information released in January of 2010.  The OWN is a watershed-level information network, created to cause a dramatic improvement in the distribution and sharing of critical environmental information among the concerned public, businesses, researchers, educators and government stakeholders. Participants will also receive training in the use of the Owasco Watershed Viewer and how geospatial data and 3D visualization can transform the way we think about and view a watershed.  Participants will receive a copy of the Viewer as part of the course.


Limit 12- 15  people per session.

New Watershed Education Program Announcement
via Bruce Natale, Cayuga County Planning Department

The Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program launched a new public awareness program in the watershed for Earth Week. A series of four lawn signs (similar to fall political signs) highlight phosphorus, yard waste, pet waste and bacterial issues. Signs have been placed at Auburn and Owasco's water treatment facilities, as well as Emerson Park, Cascade and Ensenore.
This new initiative was conceived and launched with the help of the Emerson Foundation, and County Planning and the CC WQMA. If you would like a sign to display, please contact our Watershed Inspector Jessica Miles at 252.4171 x 120.
101_0594 101_0567 

Watershed Viewer Tutorial

For those of you that may have been experiencing problems with the Google Earth powered Watershed Viewer, here is a video tutorial.  Let us know if you're still having problems.


Owasco Watershed Network - Watershed Viewer Tutorial from Owasco Watershed on Vimeo.

Summer Workshop for Educators - Teaching with Spatial Technology (TwiST) 6/28-7/1, 2010

thumbEducators: Spend time this summer learning how to explore the world and yourlocalcommunity using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), global positioning system (GPS) and remote sensing at the Teaching with Spatial Technology Workshop (TwiST). In its 9th summer, TwiST 2010 will take place from June 28 – July 1, 2010 at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY. During this 4-day workshop, K-12 and college educators will learn how to use Google Earth, ArcGIS, GPS and other geospatial technologies and integrate them into their teaching environments. Using these tools during the workshop, participants will apply their skills to map features important to the conservation of a local watershed.

Topics to be covered this year in the workshop will go beyond mapping water resources in a community. Participants will also use geospatial technologies to explore solar and wind as sources of alternative energies and explore global environmental issues. Participants will learn how to collect and gather data to create their own lessons and how to link them to state education standards.

Registration is $400. The fee includes: 4-days of training, a GPS instrument, notebooks of materials, data, the opportunity to obtain an ESRI school-wide site license at a discounted rate, lunches and approximately $1,200 worth of additional GIS learning resources. Graduate credit is available from SUNY-ESF for an additional fee.

The registration deadline for TwiST is May 28. For more information, visit www.iagt.org/twist.

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