- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EMBUDO, N.M. (AP) - The head of the U.S. Geological Survey and other water managers are gathering along the Rio Grande to commemorate what was America’s first river gage.

Installed more than a century ago, the gage at Embudo Station in northern New Mexico was the measuring device that set the foundation for modern water management across the West and the nation.

Now, the USGS streamgaging program includes more than 8,000 gages that make nearly 250 million daily observations.

Officials say the gages are critical in forecasting floods and droughts. Information collected by the gages is also used to manage river flows, establish water rights and deliver water to farmers and municipalities.

Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball and New Mexico State Engineer Scott Verhines will be among those at Tuesday’s ceremony.

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