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River monitoring cuts could stop crucial data flow to river regulators

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More than a dozen devices broadcasting crucial water data from rivers across Michigan could soon be switched off as a result of projected state and federal budget cuts.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s network of 178 stream and lake gauges in Michigan most commonly measure the height and volume of water flowing through rivers. Some measure other aspects of water quality like temperature, water clarity and dissolved oxygen.

Live updates and old records from the gauges are freely available online. State and federal agencies rely on the data for flood forecasting and pollution permits. Paddlers and anglers use the gauges to ensure river conditions aren’t too wild before heading out for a day on the water.

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