In the time of pandemic, still calibrating the gage

That little red star is a USGS tech out yesterday, calibrating the equipment used to measure the flow of the Rio Grande through Albuquerque.

For the duration of the pandemic, I will spell it “gage” in honor of the fearless stream gager still out measuring.


  1. And I can see our intrepid hydrotech out on a walkway at the ‘gage’ (thanks for that), laptop in hand. He’s cabled up to a Data Logger dumping the collected data that had accumulated since his last visit to the site some 4 to 6 weeks ago. He also checks the calibration of a Shaft Encoder a Pressure Probe or Bubbler. Any of these sensing elements needing some form of recalibration (they all drift to some degree). It’s windy and cold on the walkway but that doesn’t hinder our technician. As the log dumps into the laptop, he checks the site battery and the solar panel for the ever present bird droppings that accumulate on such an appealing perch. He mutters to himself that he’s sure glad that the avian flu is not his enemy this time around. Oh my? What is this? The mice have gotten back inside of the gage and have left their calling cards behind. The Gager rememberers a few years back about warnings of the Plague and the mice. Every Field Tech in the Southwest had heard about that and kept mice out of their beloved gages. He quickly gets a mask on, sprays over the soiled area and cleans the area to where it’s cleaner than an operating room. The mask, his gloves and soiled towels sealed tightly in a plastic bag.

    Of course he muses to himself that working alone at this remote gage is the ideal example of Social Distancing. Nobody comes out to the gage on a cold and windy day. He would be in more peril back in the office next to hydrotech Johnson who is currently wheezing away…

  2. John,

    did you ever expect to see us getting to 1100ft in Lake Mead so quickly? not too far from there now. 3.13 ft or so…

  3. Pingback: Stream gaging in the time of pandemic, Episode II – jfleck at inkstain

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