Stream Discharge Monitoring

Stream Flow Monitoring supplies:

Flow is also important because it defines the shape, size and course of streams. It affects not only water quality, but also habitat. Stream flow data in also almost non existent in many areas but when is available makes possible to draw relationships between rains, flow and other characteristics monitored in water. Citizen groups interested in monitoring stream flow may do it using a combination of innovative, home-made low cost equipment and materials that can be found locally.



Measuring and calculating flow, include the following equipment

Ball of heavy-duty string, four stakes, and a hammer to drive the stakes into the ground. The string will be stretched across the width of the stream perpendicular to shore at two locations. The stakes are to anchor the string on each bank to form a transect line.


  • Tape measure (at least 10 meters)


  • Waterproof yardstick or other implement to measure water depth


  • An orange and a fishing net (to scoop the orange out of the stream)


  • Stopwatch (or watch with a second hand)


  • Calculator (optional)



Some supplies can be obtained from different suppliers. There are multiple resources for many of these materials so for the best deals, try searching on the web.