Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Surface Water, Groundwater, Water-Quality Networks

Science Center Objects

The USGS has the principal responsibility within the federal government to provide the hydrologic information and understanding needed by others to achieve the best use and management of the nation’s water resources. Basic data are the key to solving many water-quantity or -quality problems. 

Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana operate a large hydrologic network across the three states, collecting surface water, groundwater, water-quality, and sediment data for 82 federal, state, local, universities, and private cooperators.

The foundation of all USGS water-resource information is the long-term hydrologic monitoring network. Most programs, scientific analyses, and conclusions done by the USGS utilize data from these networks. 

Indiana gage downstream of dam

Operation and maintenance of the surface-water-monitoring network includes measuring streamflow and gage height across all conditions including floods and droughts. Flooding is the single most costly and life threatening natural disaster across the nation. Other agencies like the National Weather Service use streamflow data from the USGS gage network to develop and maintain their flood forecast models. Additionally, data from these networks are used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate the complex system of reservoirs, locks, and dams for the major rivers across the two states.  Other users of these data have responsibility for power generation, habitat and wildlife protection, navigation, recreation, water use, water availability, and flood control.

USGS KY WSC staff running levels
USGS staff running levels




USGS INKYWSC scientists collecting bathymetric data on the north fork of Kentucky River












Data Applications

  • Flood forecasting
  • Drought monitoring
  • Water use
  • Ecological monitoring
    • Power plant effluence temperatures
    • Endangered species
    • Dissolved oxygen levels
  • Operation of dams, locks, and reservoirs
  • Navigation
  • Fluvial erosion studies and monitoring
  • Hazardous algal blooms
  • Emergency management
  • Infrastructure design and monitoring
  • Power generation




Interactive Gages











Current Conditions

Current conditions at selected sites based on the most recent data from on-site automated recording equipment. Measurements are commonly recorded at a fixed interval of 15- to 60-minutes and transmitted to the USGS every hour. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision). Most current data are provisional.




National Conditions

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) web sites that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past conditions for the United States. Surface water, groundwater, and water quality data are compiled from local, distributed databases into a national information system. 

Mobile Applications

How can I quickly get current water conditions that are important to me, such as water levels, streamflow, or temperatures? How can I be alerted to water conditions that exceed thresholds, such as high water? How do I find locations where these data are available?