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USGS Adds Illinois River Data to Web Site
By: Scott F. Davis

October 4, 2002
Beaver Lake Information Also Available Online
      FAYETTEVILLE -- The U.S. Geological Survey recently added extensive water quality data about the Illinois River to its Web site.

Similar information is also available at the site for Beaver Lake and Maumelle and Wynona lakes, officials said. The USGS Little Rock office gets more requests for Illinois River data than any of its other areas, officials said.

This "interactive data system" allows users to view, graph and retrieve water-quality and stream-flow data collected by the USGS from 21 sites in the Illinois River basin, according to USGS. The amount of available data varies for the different sites, but some records go back more than 25 years.

Reed Green, a water-quality specialist at the USGS Little Rock office, said the Web pages were set up to accommodate public requests for the information. Each request is different, and it is often easier for someone to design a customized report, he said.

Green said callers sometimes request "all of the data" on a stream or lake, but they really don't want all the data, because there is so much of it, he explained.

"If they can pick and choose better themselves, they usually only want two or three parameters," he said.

Graphs can be created or information downloaded from the site's database, which offers more than 40 parameters, including water flow, phosphorus levels, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, barometric pressure, dissolved solids, suspended sediment, water temperature and others.

The Web information about Lakes Maumelle and Wynona was developed earlier this year at the request of the Central Arkansas Waterworks, the water utility for the Little Rock area, Green said. The Beaver Lake data is often used by Beaver Water District officials, he said.

The interactive map of Beaver Lake is no longer available to Web users, because of security concerns, officials said. The site previously contained the precise global-positioning system coordinates of the data-collection sites, including the district's water intake structure, officials said.

┬ęThe Morning News /NWAonline.net 2002
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