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.

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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: May 17, 2019

California Water Science Center Scientists Present at 2019 Federal Interagency Conference

California Water Science Center (CAWSC) hydrologists Joseph Hevesi, Scott Wright, Alexandra Etheridge, Mathieu Marineau, and Michelle Stern will discuss their research at the 2019 Federal Interagency Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling (SEDHYD) Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Date published: May 2, 2019

California Water Science Center Hydrologist Receives Award for Intervention Training

California Water Science Center Hydrologist, Alexandra (Alex) Etheridge will receive an excellence in leadership award at this year’s USGS Honor Awards Ceremony, to be held on May 7, 2019...

Date published: April 22, 2019

USGS Participates in Earth Day Festivities on Alcatraz Island

On April 20th, the USGS California Water Science Center (CAWSC) participated in annual Earth Day festivities on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Involvement in the event included science presentations on the island, demonstrating the ongoing research of the USGS Estuarine Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport team based in Sacramento.


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Year Published: 2019

Dam effects on bedload transport on the upper Santa Ana River, California, and implications for native fish habitat

Dams disrupt the flow of water and sediment and thus have the potential to affect the downstream geomorphic characteristics of a river. Though there are some well‐known and common geomorphic responses to dams, such as bed armouring, the response downstream from any particular dam is dependent on local conditions. Herein, we investigate the...

Wright, Scott A.; Minear, J Toby

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Year Published: 2019

Turbidity current observations in a large reservoir following a major wildfire

Turbidity currents are generated when denser river water plunges and flows along the bottom of a lake, reservoir, or ocean. The plunging and downstream movement are driven by density differences due to temperature and/or suspended sediment, and currents have been observed to move slowly over long distances. This study presents observations of...

Wright, Scott A.; Marineau, Mathieu D.

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Year Published: 2019

The importance of groundwater flow to the formation of modern thrombolitic microbialites

Modern microbialites are often located within groundwater discharge zones, yet the role of groundwater in microbialite accretion has yet to be resolved. To understand relationships between groundwater, microbialites, and associated microbial communities, we quantified and characterized groundwater flow and chemistry in active thrombolitic...

Warden, John; Coshell, Lee; Rosen, Michael R.; Breecker, Daniel O.; Ruthrof, Katinka X.; Omelon, Christopher R.