California Water Science Center


The California Water Science Center has adjusted activities in response to guidance concerning the global COVID-19 pandemic. We will carry on the work of the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on direction from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting to a virtual mode. 

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Water Research Projects

Water Research Projects

Over 100 research projects addressing California's key water issues including: long-term water supply and availability, water quality, droughts and floods, climate change, aquatic ecology, the Delta, management of watersheds and groundwater.

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Partnering with Us

Partnering with Us

The USGS partners with local, state, and other federal agencies to provide scientific information needed by water-resources managers across the Nation.

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California Water Data

Basic hydrologic data collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and archiving are major parts of the California Water Science Center program.

National Water Information System Mapper

Current California Streamflow Conditions

California Runoff

USGS WaterWatch

USGS Flood Event Viewer

California Post-Fire Debris-Flow Maps

California Water-Quality Mapper

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Date published: October 1, 2020

Invasive Mussel Species Impacts the Food Web in Lake Mead

In an article for the journal Science of the Total Environment, USGS scientists and others discuss the impact of invasive quagga mussels on the ecosystem of Lake Mead located on the border of Arizona and Nevada. 

Date published: September 18, 2020

How Changing Climate Will Impact the Flow of Sediment to the San Francisco Bay‐Delta

The health of the San Francisco Bay‐Delta depends on a sediment supply that has been recently declining due to sediment trapping in upstream reservoirs. Reduced sediment supply increases water clarity in the Bay-Delta, which in turn influences ecological processes and aquatic life.

Date published: September 1, 2020

Scientists Collect Water Quality Data Prior to Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). 


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Year Published: 2021

Trends in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment concentrations and loads in streams draining to Lake Tahoe, California, Nevada, USA

Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake of the eastern Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada, has 63 tributaries that are sources of nutrients and sediment to the lake. The Tahoe watershed is relatively small, and the surface area of the lake occupies about 38% of the watershed area (1313 km2). Only about 6% of the watershed is urbanized or...

Domagalski, Joseph L.; Morway, Eric D.; Alvarez, Nancy L.; Hutchins, Juliet; Rosen, Michael R.; Coats, Robert

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Year Published: 2021

Movement of synthetic organic compounds in the food web after the introduction of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) in Lake Mead, Nevada and Arizona, USA

Introductions of dreissenid mussels in North America have been a significant concern over the last few decades. This study assessed the distribution of synthetic organic compounds (SOCs) in the food web of Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona, USA and how this distribution was influenced by the introduction of invasive quagga mussels. A clear spatial...

Goodbred, Steven L.; Rosen, Michael R.; Patino, Reynaldo; Alvarez, David; Echols, Kathy R.; King, Kerensa; Umek, John

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Year Published: 2020

Influenza A viruses remain infectious for more than seven months in northern wetlands of North America

In this investigation, we used a combination of field- and laboratory-based approaches to assess if influenza A viruses (IAVs) shed by ducks could remain viable for extended periods in surface water within three wetland complexes of North America. In a field experiment, replicate filtered surface water samples inoculated with duck swabs were...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Lang, Andrew S.; Leyson, Christina; Link, Paul T.; Prosser, Diann; Robertson, Gregory J.; Wight, Jordan; Youk, Sungsu; Spackman, Erica; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.