California Water Science Center


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.

Find out how

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

Get CA Water Data


Date published: September 23, 2019

USGS Science at Work in the San Francisco Bay Estuary

In an article written for the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, Dr. Paul Work and Dr. Maureen Downing-Kunz, of the California Water Science Center, provide examples of the work being done to measure water flow and quality in the San Francisco Estuary.

Below is the article in its entirety.

Date published: September 10, 2019

The CAWSC is Hiring a Hydrologic Field Assistant!


Do you get excited about working outdoors? Do you enjoy creative problem solving? Would you like to work part to full time in a challenging position that could lead to incredible career opportunities?

Date published: August 2, 2019

California Water Science Center Scientists Will Discuss Their Research on Drinking Water Sources at the 2019 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona

The annual meeting of the Geological Society of America supports the geological community in the scientific discovery, communication, and application of geoscience knowledge. This year’s meeting will feature 28 short courses and workshops, 6 Pardee Symposia, and 201 topical sessions and symposia, as well as other networking and learning opportunities.  


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Year Published: 2019

Scenarios of climate adaptation potential on protected working lands from management of soils

Management of protected lands may enhance ecosystem services that conservation programs were designed to protect. Practices that build soil organic matter (SOM) on agricultural lands also increase soil water holding capacity, potentially reducing climatic water deficit (CWD), increasing actual evapotranspiration (AET) and increasing groundwater...

Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, P.; Sleeter, Benjamin; Flint, Lorraine E.; Cameron, D. Richard; Creque, J.

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Year Published: 2019

Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation

High-frequency water-quality monitoring stations measure and transmit data, often in near real-time, from a wide range of aquatic environments to assess the quality of the Nation’s water resources. Common instrumentation for high-frequency water-quality data collection uses a multi-parameter sonde, which typically has sensors that measure and...

Mathany, Timothy M.; Saraceno, John Franco; Kulongoski, Justin T.
Mathany, T.M., Saraceno, J.F., and Kulongoski, J.T., 2019, Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1–D7, 54 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Arsenic variability and groundwater age in three water supply wells in southeast New Hampshire

Three wells in New Hampshire were sampled bimonthly over three years to evaluate the temporal variability of arsenic concentrations and groundwater age. All samples had measurable concentrations of arsenic throughout the entire sampling period and concentrations in individual wells varied, on average, by more than 7 µg/L. High arsenic...

Levitt, Joseph; Degnan, James; Flanagan, Sarah; Jurgens, Bryant