The federal government sequestration cut will eliminate hundreds of stream flow gages nationwide, including a few in Minnesota. The gages are used for flood forecasting and water quality monitoring.
James Fallon oversees the stream gage network in Minnesota for the U.S. Geological Survey.
Fallon said more than 100 gages are scattered around the state. He doesn't know how many gages in Minnesota will be shut down, and the agency has not decided how to choose which will be eliminated.
"I guess you could say well maybe a gage on a bigger river and a bigger population center might be more important because there's more people to look at it," Fallon said. "It doesn't matter where a gage gets discontinued. We immediately hear about it and we get asked what can be done about it."
Complex funding sources complicate the issue, he said. Some stream gages are funded by USGS, some by the Army Corps of Engineers, and some by a combination of federal, state and local money.