What is WaterAlert?
Legacy WaterAlert is a popular subscription service that allows users to subscribe to email or text (SMS) messages when certain parameters, measured by a USGS monitoring location, exceed user-definable thresholds.
The development and maintenance of the WaterAlert system are supported by the USGS and its partners, including numerous federal, state, and local agencies.
Real-time data from USGS gages are transmitted via satellite or another telemetry to USGS offices at various intervals, in most cases, once every hour. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent.
Notifications will be based on the data received at these site-dependent intervals.
What are WaterAlert users saying?
“From the horse’s mouth,” direct quotes from WaterAlert users…
“I have a cabin about 300 miles from my home. I appreciate getting the alerts, so I know if the water level is rising. It helps me protect my property and stay informed.”
“I am a rescue diver and work for a trauma team; I need to know the status of the flow.”
Why are we modernizing?
Water alert has been a tried-and-true service for years, but the system was aging, making it vulnerable to breaking.
Many users found navigating the system challenging, so we needed to modernize the system.
Modernizing allowed us to provide new features and to make things look more approachable for all users! We’re enthusiastic that the Next Generation of WaterAlert will be more discoverable, accessible, and usable for all users.
What are the NextGen key features?
1. Streamlined account management: Enjoy a more user-friendly way to manage your alerts, including a personalized user accoun.
2. Enhanced email alerts: The emails are being upgraded to HTML emails, allowing us to provide the data.
3. Short-code SMS messages: WaterAlert text messages are being updated to follow industry standards using short-code SMS messages.
Once the transition opens in summer* 2022 (anticipated to open in August), if you do transition your alerts, you will receive up to three emails by the time the transition closes in fall* 2022 (anticipated to close in October). Once you successfully transition your alerts, you will not receive any more reminders about the transition.
Transitioning Legacy users
Current users of Legacy WaterAlert will be able to transfer their alerts to NextGen WaterAlert. As a part of the transition, users will create an account in NextGen WaterAlert. Once users transition, they can create, edit, and delete alerts in NextGen WaterAlert, and alerts in NextGen WaterAlert will be active immediately.
The transition period will be open for two months. We’ll be available to help you anytime, but we hope you’ll find the process fast and easy to complete on your own.
Users will follow three simple steps to transfer their alerts.
- Log in or create an account*
- Transfer your alerts
- You’re all done!
Users will choose from Login or AD credentials. If you do not have a login.gov account, you can quickly and easily create one.
Later this summer, we will update this blog post with more detailed written instructions that will walk users through how to transition step-by-step. Current Legacy WaterAlert users should expect to hear from us via email or text about transitioning legacy alerts. We will host a webinar to walk users through it step-by-step on August 24th at 1 pm ET/ 10 am PT.