California Water Science Center

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The U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center (CAWSC) provides reliable, impartial, foundational data and scientific analysis to address water issues facing California today. We conduct hydrologic monitoring and investigative studies in partnership with Federal, State, and local agencies to assist them in managing California's water resources.

Find out more about about CAWSC science programs and partnerships

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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News

Date published: December 9, 2019

USGS Hydrologist Collaborates with Danish Scientists on Groundwater Research

Groundwater provides much of the world's drinking water. When a supply of groundwater becomes contaminated, determining the timing and source of the contamination is an obvious concern. But the answers aren’t always clear. Contaminants may have different sources, even in a single groundwater well.

Date published: November 7, 2019

USGS Scientist to Discusses the Impacts of Agricultural Runoff in California’s Bay-Delta

Research Chemist, Dr. Michelle Hladik, presented her research on current-use pesticides being introduced into certain areas of California’s Bay-Delta ecosystem. Dr. Hladik’s presentation took place at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Annual...

Date published: October 15, 2019

The Ups and Downs of Groundwater Levels after the July 2019 Ridgecrest, CA Earthquakes

Effects from the two July 2019 Ridgecrest, CA earthquakes were observed in several USGS continuous groundwater-level monitoring sites in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

History and sources of co-occurring pesticides in an abstraction well unravelled by age distributions of depth specific groundwater samples

When groundwater-based drinking water supply becomes contaminated, the timing and source of contamination are obvious questions. However, contaminants often have diffuse sources and different contaminants may have different sources even in a single groundwater well, making these questions complicated to answer. Age dating of groundwater has been...

Jakobsen, Rasmus ; Hinsby, Klaus ; Aamand, Jens ; van der Keur, Peter ; Kidmose, Jacob ; Purtschert, Roland ; Jurgens, Bryant; Sultenfuss, Jurgen ; Albers, Christian N.

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Year Published: 2019

Quantifying erosion rates by using terrestrial laser scanning at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada County, California, 2014–17

The abandoned hydraulic mine pit at Malakoff Diggins near Grass Valley, California, can produce large volumes of eroded sediment transportable by storm runoff. Sediment-laden water discharged from the pit is a major source of heavy metals to Humbug Creek and the South Yuba River. To develop a comprehensive sediment budget for the Malakoff Diggins...

Howle, James F.; Alpers, Charles N.; Ward, Alfred J.; Bond, Sandra; Curtis, Jennifer A.
Howle, J.F., Alpers, C.N., Ward, A.J., Bond, S., and Curtis, J.A., 2019, Quantifying erosion rates by using terrestrial laser scanning at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada County, California, 2014–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1124, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191124.

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Year Published: 2019

Determination of study reporting limits for pesticide constituent data for the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project, 2004–2018—Part 1: National Water Quality Schedules 2003, 2032, or 2033, and 2060

The California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) is a long-term cooperative project designed to assess the quality of groundwater resources used for public and domestic drinking water supplies in the State of California, to monitor and evaluate changes to that quality, to investigate the human...

Fram, Miranda S.; Stork, Sylvia V.
Fram, M.S., and Stork, S.V., 2019, Determination of study reporting limits for pesticide constituent data for the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project, 2004–2018—Part 1: National Water Quality Schedules 2003, 2032, or 2033, and 2060: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5107, 129 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195107.