Get real-time data on water quality and possible floods, delivered to your phone

Want to know whether groundwater is rising near your farm, or if ocean temperatures are rising alarmingly? Or maybe you want to track oxygen levels in water near the BP oil spill? Now you can.

The US geological survey (USGS) is making it easy for the public to access all the data that they and other agencies gather from water-monitoring equipment all across the US. Their program is called WaterAlert. You can pick the area you want to monitor (using a map like the one above), as well as what you want to know (water levels, salinity, Ph, etc.). Then you choose whether you want that data sent to your mobile phone, or email.

The USGS explains:

Real-time data from USGS gages are transmitted via satellite or other telemetry to USGS offices at various intervals; in most cases, once every 1 or 4 hours. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent.

This is an awesome opportunity to get easy access to all kinds of interesting information that's normally only available to specialists.

via USGS WaterAlert