WaterAlert Service agreement
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).
- Emails alerts are available at no charge to you with detailed information about your alert all in one convenient email.
- Text message (SMS) alerts are simplified text only messages typically received on a mobile phone. Text message alerts come in under the service name USGS WaterAlert using the short code phone number 31238. Alerts sent by text message may incur message and data charges depending on your wireless carrier plan.
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:
- Maximum rate: for each alert subscription, you are able to choose between hourly or daily as your maximum rate. Hourly alert subscriptions can trigger up to 24 times per day when water conditions meet your chosen threshold. Daily alerts trigger up to 1 time per day when water conditions meet your chosen threshold.
- Control your threshold: You are able to set your own threshold that triggers the alert. If an alert subscription is triggering more often than you would like, the threshold can be modified at any time through the My Alerts section of WaterAlert.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.