Message from the Director

Message from the Director, Dakota Water Science Center

Joyce E. Williamson

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Dakota Water Science Center (DWSC) Web Portal! This site is your access to data, interpretive reports, press releases, photos and other information on the hydrology of North and South Dakota. Our mission is to collect high-quality hydrologic data and conduct objective scientific investigations on the quantity, quality, and use of surface-water and groundwater resources of the Dakotas. The DWSC is within the Water Mission Area (WMA) of the USGS – a Department of Interior agency with Headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The DWSC is organized into three offices within South Dakota – Rapid City (Director’s Office), Huron and Pierre – and two offices within North Dakota – Bismarck and Grand Forks. The offices are geographically located within the Dakotas to respond to hydrologic events and to maintain liaison with cooperating State and Federal agencies. The technical staff is organized into two sections: 1) the Hydrologic Data Section, which operates the data collection networks, and 2) the Studies Section, which investigates and assesses the quantity, quality, and use of water resources.

The Hydrologic Data Section maintains a network of hydrologic data-collection sites and compiles hydrologic data collected from these sites for public use. Hydrologic data include records of (1) stage and discharge of principal rivers and streams; (2) chemistry and suspendedsediment concentration of selected rivers; (3) water levels in selected aquifers; and (4) water use. The data are compiled and permanently archived into USGS databases and provided online. A single point of retrieval for the public for all water sites in the United States is available at All sites are also available in real-time, using satellite telemetry to transmit current hydrologic conditions at the more than 150 streamflow-gaging stations in South Dakota and more than 120 streamflow-gaging stations in North Dakota.

The investigation and assessment of the surface-water and groundwater resources of North and South Dakota are accomplished through a series of projects conducted by the Studies Section. Program emphasis is to provide timely, objective hydrologic information to Federal, Tribal, State and local agencies regarding water-supply availability, water quality, water-source identification, and water-resource management. The DWSC works cooperatively with many of the tribes in North and South Dakota to assist them in their efforts to manage their water resources.

I trust you will find the information and contacts available herein to be of value to you. If you have any questions, concerns or other needs for information regarding the Dakotas’ water resources, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for visiting our Web Page!

Joyce E. Williamson Director, U.S. Geological Survey, Dakota Water Science Center

Rapid City, South Dakota

(605) 394-3219