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: January 23, 2020

USGS Scientists Use Sound and Light to Measure Sediment in Water

In two recent publications, California Water Science Center scientists discuss their research using acoustic and optic technology to measure the quantity and movement of sediment in rivers and reservoirs.

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...

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Storage capacity and sedimentation characteristics of the San Antonio Reservoir, California, 2018

The San Antonio Reservoir is a large water storage facility in Alameda County, California, and is a major component of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System (RWS). The RWS is a water-supply system owned and operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and provides water for about 2.7 million people in the San Francisco, Santa...

Marineau, Mathieu D.; Wright, Scott A.; Lopez, Joan V.
Marineau, M.D., Wright, S.A, and Lopez, J.V., 2020, Storage capacity and sedimentation characteristics of the San Antonio Reservoir, California, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5151, 34 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195151.

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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

Effects of surface-water use on domestic groundwater availability and quality during drought in the Sierra Nevada foothills, California

BackgroundApproximately 2 million California residents rely on privately owned domestic wells for drinking water. During the California drought of 2012−16 groundwater levels declined in many parts of the state and wells were deepened in response. Most of the wells deepened during this time were domestic wells that were drilled into fractured...

Levy, Zeno F.; Fram, Miranda S.; Taylor, Kimberly A.
Levy, Z.F., Fram, M.S., and Taylor, K.A., 2020, Effects of surface-water use on domestic groundwater availability and quality during drought in the Sierra Nevada foothills, California: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3077, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193077.