Social Media Icons DEQ Facebook DEQ Twitter DEQ Instagram DEQ LinkedIn

Streamflow Monitoring for Drought Conditions

Streamflow monitoring stations with a long-term period of data collection (minimum of 10 years) are used to monitor streamflow responses to drought conditions.  The rolling average of the daily flow values from the previous seven days are compared with corresponding historic flow statistics for the period of record.

Streamflow Thresholds for Drought Conditions:

  • Normal Conditions:  Seven day average streamflows above the 25th percentile for return flow frequency 
  • Drought Watch Conditions:  Seven day average streamflows between the 10th and 25th percentile for return flow frequencies
  • Drought Warning Conditions:  Seven day average streamflows between the 5th and 10th percentile for return flow frequencies 
  • Drought Emergency Conditions:  Seven day average streamflows below the 5th percentile for return flow frequencies


Streamflow monitoring stations selected to monitor drought severity in each evaluation region are listed below:

  • Big Sandy Drought Evaluation Region: Clinch River at Cleveland, USGS Station 03524000
  • Chowan Drought Evaluation Region: Meherrin River near Lawrenceville, USGS Station 02051500
  • Eastern Shore Drought Evaluation Region: No stream gages are available to monitor.
  • Middle James Drought Evaluation Region: Appomattox River at Farmville, DEQ Station 02039500
  • New River Drought Evaluation Region: Reed Creek at Graham Forge, USGS Station 03167000
  • Northern Coastal Plain Drought Evaluation Region: Mattaponi River near Beulahville, USGS Station 01674500
  • Northern Piedmont Drought Evaluation Region: Rapidan River near Culpeper, DEQ Station 01667500
  • Northern Virginia Drought Evaluation Region: Accotink Creek near Annandale, DEQ Station 01654000
  • Roanoke River Drought Evaluation Region: Goose Creek near Huddleston, DEQ Station 02059500
  • Shenandoah Drought Evaluation Region: North Fork Shenandoah near Strasburg, USGS Station 01634000
  • Southeast Virginia Drought Evaluation Region:  No stream gages are available to monitor. 
  • Upper James Drought Evaluation Region: Cowpasture River near Clifton Forge, USGS Station 02016000
  • York-James Drought Evaluation Region: Chickahominy River near Providence Forge, USGS Station 02042500


Note that the exceedance of a streamflow threshold does not automatically trigger a drought stage.  The Drought Monitoring Task Force may, after evaluating all drought information, make a drought stage recommendation when one or more indicator thresholds are exceeded within a drought evaluation region.

stream gaging station 01644000

footer divider
footer divider
footer divider
Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

Some resources on this website require Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel. If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format pursuant to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. ยง 794 (d)), please call 800-592-5482. In addition, this website includes hyperlinks to websites neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Links may open in a new window. If you wish to receive content from a website which is neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth, please contact the host of that website directly.

Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | WAI Compliance | Contact Us