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. Field work that is crucial for life and safety will continue.

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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 1, 2020

California Groundwater Wells Receive Grades for Improvement and Degradation

In California, groundwater is a major source for drinking and other uses. Identifying where groundwater quality is getting better or worse is essential for managing groundwater resources.

Date published: March 3, 2020

Toxic Mineral Selenium Found in California Fish Species

Spinal deformities in California native fish species, the Sacramento Splittail, were first seen in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in 2011. It is now known that this is due to exposure to the chemical element selenium. 

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.


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Year Published: 2020

Multiple-well monitoring site adjacent to the Lost Hills oil field, Kern County, California

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board, is evaluating several questions about oil and gas development and groundwater resources in California, including (1) the location of groundwater resources; (2) the proximity of oil and gas operations and groundwater and the geologic materials...

Everett, Rhett R.; Kjos, Adam; Brown, Anthony A.; Gillespie, Janice M.; McMahon, Peter B.
Everett, R.R., Kjos, A., Brown, A.A., Gillespie, J.M., and McMahon, P.B., 2020, Multiple-well monitoring site adjacent to the Lost Hills oil field, Kern County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1114, 8 p.,

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Year Published: 2020

Uptake, metabolism, and elimination of fungicides from coated wheat seeds in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)

Pesticides coated to the seed surface potentially pose an ecological risk to granivorous birds that consume incompletely buried or spilled seeds. To assess the toxicokinetics of seeds treated with current-use fungicides, Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) were orally dosed with commercially coated wheat seeds. Quail were exposed to metalaxyl,...

Gross, Michael S.; Thomas G. Bean; Hladik, Michelle; Rattner, Barnett A.; Kuivila, Kathryn

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Year Published: 2020

Tidal wetland gross primary production across the continental United States, 2000–2019

We mapped tidal wetland gross primary production (GPP) with unprecedented detail for multiple wetland types across the continental United States (CONUS) at 16‐day intervals for the years 2000–2019. To accomplish this task, we developed the spatially explicit Blue Carbon (BC) model, which combined tidal wetland cover and field‐based eddy covariance...

Feagin, R.A.; Forbrich, I.; Huff, T. P.; Barr, J.G.; Ruiz-Plancarte, J.; Fuentes, J.D.; Najjar, R.G.; Vargas, R.; Vazquez Lule, A.; Windham-Myers, L.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Ward, E. J.; Moore, G.W.; Leclerc, M.; Krauss, K.W.; Stagg, C.L.; Alber, M.; Knox, S. H.; Schafer, K. V. R.; Bianchi, T.S.; Hutchings, J. A.; Nahrawi, H.; Noormets, A.; Mitra, B.; Jaimes, A.; Hinson, A.L.; Bergamaschi, Brian; King, J.S.; Miao, G.