Drone used to measure Guadalupe River flow

U.S. Geological Survey using drones for first time

COMAL COUNTY, Texas – The U.S. Geological Survey is using a drone to survey the Guadalupe River and the effects of recent rains.

"It's looking at these various debris pieces. Then we'll bring that video footage back to the office, process it up into our computers and calculate out how fast the water is moving. We know the shape of the river, so we can calculate how how much water was moving through that particular site," said USGS hydrological studies chief Ryan Banta.
September was one of the wettest months on record.

"The ground is fully saturated with water, so when you get another 2-inch storm on top of it, instead of that 2 inches being absorbed into the ground, that's going to go straight into the river," Banta said.
The river has a flow of 150 cubic feet per second, which equates to 150 basketballs.

"This morning, this river peaked at about 30,000 cubic feet per second, so that means every second, approximately 30,000 basketballs were flowing underneath this river," Banta said.
Whether it's a high flow or a low flow, the information is valuable to city leaders. 

"During low flows, we can measure those amounts of water, and those are useful for water-decision makers. During high flows, it's really important for emergency managers to be able to respond to flood conditions," Banta said.

If you would like get real time flow measurements on the Guadalupe River or any other river or stream, click here.

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