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WaterAlert Service agreement

WaterAlert Overview

WaterAlert strives to provide timely and accurate notifications to users using the latest data available through the National Water Information System (NWIS). WaterAlert is a service offered by the USGS to provide alert notifications when a threshold set by you is triggered by the latest water conditions. There are two options to receive alerts: email or text message via Short Message System (SMS).

What data is used to trigger an alert notification?

As described in the Current and historical instantaneous data availability statement , NWIS data undergoes a thorough review and approval process and marks data as Approved or Provisional to inform users the status of the data. In order to provide timely notifications delivered within a day of measurement, WaterAlert utilizes provisional measurements that have yet to be reviewed by USGS Water Science Center (WSC) staff. Provisional data may be inaccurate due to instrument malfunctions or physical changes at the measurement site, leading to incorrect alert notifications going out to the users.

While the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to prevent service interruptions, there are times where the equipment malfunctions and fails to provide data for WaterAlert to use to send out alerts when they are appropriate. Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the limitations of the data service before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences.

How often will I receive alerts?

The rate of text message alerts is variable, depending on how you configured your alert subscription:

For text message alerts, message and data rates may apply. For help, reply HELP. To stop receiving alerts, reply STOP. Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. If you have any questions about your text or data plan, please contact your wireless provider. For all other questions about the WaterAlert service, please contact us at

How will you handle my data?

We value your private data and do not share it with others; read our WaterAlert Privacy Statement for more details.

Questions or Comments