Adoption of an integrated approach to water management strongly forces policy and decision-makers to focus on hydrometric monitoring systems as well. Existing hydrometric networks need to be assessed and revised against the requirements on water quantity data to support integrated management. One of the questions that a network assessment study should resolve is whether a current monitoring system can be consolidated in view of the increased expenditures in time, money and effort imposed on the monitoring activity. Within the last decade, governmental monitoring agencies in Turkey have foreseen an audit on all their basin networks in view of prevailing economic pressures. In particular, they question how they can decide whether monitoring should be continued or terminated at a particular site in a network. The presented study is initiated to address this question by examining the applicability of a method called "reference point approach" (RPA) for network assessment and reduction purposes. The main objective of the study is to develop an easily applicable and flexible network reduction methodology, focusing mainly on the assessment of the "performance" of existing streamflow monitoring networks in view of variable operational purposes. The methodology is applied to 13 hydrometric stations in the Gediz Basin, along the Aegean coast of Turkey. The results have shown that the simplicity of the method, in contrast to more complicated computational techniques, is an asset that facilitates the involvement of decision makers in application of the methodology for a more interactive assessment procedure between the monitoring agency and the network designer. The method permits ranking of hydrometric stations with regard to multiple objectives of monitoring and the desired attributes of the basin network. Another distinctive feature of the approach is that it also assists decision making in cases with limited data and metadata. These features of the RPA approach highlight its advantages over the existing network assessment and reduction methods. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.