County of Marin - News Releases - Tide Gauges

For Immediate Release
December 19, 2018

Two Tide Gauges Installed on Novato Creek

New monitoring devices in place to help with flood response and project planning

San Rafael, CA – Two new tide gauges on Novato Creek are pulling some 24-7-365 double duty: They provide timely water elevation readings during storms that assist first responders with emergency notifications, and they record longer-term tidal changes that help flood control specialists plan for sea-level rise.

A tide gauge is shown attached to a bridge that spans Novato Creek at Rowland Way.One of the new tide gauges is on the Rowland Way bridge near Novato Community Hospital.
The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District recently installed the two gauges to improve around-the-clock tidal elevation monitoring. One is at the Rowland Way Bridge and the other is where Novato Creek meets San Pablo Bay.

At 45 square miles, Novato Creek Watershed is the largest watershed in the county and features the 17-mile-long Novato Creek, one of the longest waterways in Marin. The watershed’s many waterways flow eastward through forests, grasslands, unincorporated areas and the City of Novato, eventually draining into San Pablo Bay.

The new equipment, a first for the Flood Control District, will assist in developing flood reduction projects to protect life and reduce potential property losses during flooding events.

“These two tide gauges will help us better understand the importance and impacts of tides on flooding in the City of Novato and the baylands in our computer models,” said Roger Leventhal, Marin County Flood Control District’s Senior Civil Engineer. “This will be a great resource for the District, helping us plan for sea level rise adaptation and the potential flooding associated with it.”

The tide gauges, which cost about $35,000 for hardware and installation, were paid for with District funds from the Novato watershed area known as Flood Control Zone 1. The tide gauges will complement the recent weather and stream gauge upgrades that were installed earlier in the year and paid for by a California Department of Water Resources grant. Weather gauges measure precipitation levels and wind activity, whereas tide gauges monitor the fluctuations in water elevation. The data for all 28 gauges is available to the public in real-time through the District’s OneRain website.


Roger Leventhal
Senior Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3249
Email: Roger Leventhal
DPW Website