What is a "water-year"?

The water-year is used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other federal agencies to define a period of data collection. It runs from October 1st through September 30th. For example, water-year 2006 began on October 1, 2005 and ended on September 30, 2006.

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1. What is an ALERT Station?
2. Is there additional rainfall, streamflow and weather data besides what is shown in the Rainfall and Weather section of this website?
3. Why do most of the rain gages appear to read in increments of 0.04 inches?
4. Why are there more rain gages in some areas of the County than in others?
5. Why do some wind speed sensors appear to read so low?
6. What is a "water-year"?