National Water Information System: Web Interface


The USGS Water Data for the Nation has collected water-resources data at approximately 1.5 million sites across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. This is real-time data on water transmitted from selected surface-water, ground-water, and water-quality sites with descriptive site information for all sites with links to all available water data for individual sites.  Online access to the data is organized around these three categories: surface water, ground water, and water quality.


The United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The types of data collected are varied, but generally fit into the broad categories of surface water and ground water. Surface-water data, such as gage height (stage) and streamflow (discharge), are collected at major rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Ground-water data, such as water level, are collected at wells and springs.

Water-quality data are available for both surface water and ground water. Examples of water-quality data collected are temperature, specific conductance, pH, nutrients, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds.

This web site serves current and historical data. Data are retrieved by category of data, such as surface water, ground water, or water quality, and by geographic area. Subsequent pages allow further refinement by selecting specific information and by defining the output desired.

Format and Retrieval

NWISWeb system is a new system that was based on the effort/development from several other USGS water related web systems: the national system for historic streamflow data (NWIS-W) , and the real-time streamflow data system; and several development efforts that were established in our districts. An overview of NWISWeb is available for further information.

System specifications

  • Web Server
    • operating system is the Sun Solaris [tm]
    • 4 Processors running at 480 Mgz
    • Pages served by the Apache web server
    • Perl and CGI is used to display all pages
    • Graphics are created by Gnuplot and we are licensed to create GIF images from Unisys
  • Database Server
    • Operating system is the Redhat Linux
    • 8 Processors running at 600 Mgz
    • MySQL is used to run our database
  • Connectivity
    • 1 Ghz Fiber connection between the web server and the database server

Related Partners

The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.