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: April 28, 2021

USGS Participates in 2021 Orange County Youth Environmental Summit

From April 19th through the 23rd, 2021, the USGS California Water Science Center (CAWSC) participated in the first virtual Orange County Youth Environmental Summit (YES). The award-winning program, formerly known as the Children's Water Education Festival, offers 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders opportunities for learning and engagement.

Date published: April 13, 2021

Bay-Delta Science Conference Goes Virtual

From April 6-9, 2021, more than 1,000 scientists, managers, and policymakers gathered virtually for the 11th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference.  This year’s conference "Building Resilience Through Diversity in Science" featured a plenary talk by California Water Science Center (CAWSC) Director Eric Reichard who is presently serving as Acting USGS Southwest Regional Director.

Date published: April 6, 2021

Nutrient Erosion Study Begins at California’s Clear Lake

Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within California, has a severe problem with harmful algal blooms which can be detrimental to aquatic life by depriving it of oxygen when the algae dies, sinks, and decays. A driving factor of these conditions are the nutrient loads being carried into the lake by soil erosion and the transport of sediment from the lake’s tributaries. 


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Year Published: 2021

Measuring and interpreting multilayer aquifer-system compactions for a sustainable groundwater-system development

Ever decreasing water resources and climate change have driven the increasing use of groundwater causing land subsidence in many countries. Geodetic sensors such as InSAR, GPS and leveling can detect surface deformation but cannot measure subsurface deformation. A single‐well, single‐depth extensometer can be used to measure subsurface deformation...

Hung, Wei-Chia; Hwang, Cheinway; Sneed, Michelle; Chen, Yi-An; Chu, Chi-Hua; Lin, Shao-Hung

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Year Published: 2021

The basin characterization model—A regional water balance software package

This report documents the computer software package, Basin Characterization Model, version 8 (BCMv8)—a monthly, gridded, regional water-balance model—and provides detailed operational instructions and example applications. After several years of many applications and uses of a previous version, CA-BCM, published in 2014, the BCMv8 was refined to...

Flint, Lorraine E.; Flint, Alan L.; Stern, Michelle A.
Flint, L.E., Flint, A.L., and Stern, M.A., 2021, The basin characterization model—A regional water balance software package: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6–H1, 85 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Public and private tapwater: Comparative analysis of contaminant exposure and potential risk, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

BackgroundHumans are primary drivers of environmental contamination worldwide, including in drinking-water resources. In the United States (US), federal and state agencies regulate and monitor public-supply drinking water while private-supply monitoring is rare; the current lack of directly comparable information on contaminant-mixture exposures...

Bradley, Paul; LeBlanc, Denis R.; Romanok, Kristin; Smalling, Kelly; Focazio, Michael J.; Cardon, Mary C.; Clark, Jimmy; Conley, Justin M.; Evans, Nicola; Givens, Carrie E; Gray, James L.; Gray, L. Earl; Hartig, Phillip C.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith; McCleskey, R. Blaine; McDonough, Carrie A.; Medlock-Kakaley, Elizabeth; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.