The maps and graphs in this summary describe streamflow conditions for water year 2013 (October 1, 2012, to September 30, 2013) in the context of the 84-year period from 1930 through 2013, unless otherwise noted. The illustrations are based on observed data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Water Information System ( http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/). The period 1930–2013 was used because, prior to 1930, the number of streamgages was too small to provide representative data for computing statistics for most regions of the country.
In the summary, reference is made to the term “runoff,” which is the depth to which a river basin, State, or other geographic area would be covered with water if all the streamflow within the area during a specified time period was uniformly distributed upon it. Runoff quantifies the magnitude of water flowing through the Nation’s rivers and streams in measurement units that can be compared from one area to another.
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