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.

Explore Projects

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: June 6, 2019

Comparing Restored vs. Historic Salt Marshes

California Water Science Center Research Hydrologist Dr. Judith Drexler and others have published an article in the journal Restoration Ecology, observing the progress of a restored salt marsh in southern Puget Sound, Washington.

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...


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Evaluation of land subsidence and ground failures at Bicycle Basin, Fort Irwin National Training Center, California, 1992–2017

Groundwater has been pumped in the Bicycle Basin at Fort Irwin National Training Center since the 1960s, and the amount pumped has generally increased since the 1990s. After a large crack (approximately 0.5-kilometer long) formed at the surface of Bicycle Lake playa during 2005–06 in the area used as an aircraft runway, a...

Densmore, Jill; Ellett, Kevin M.; Sneed, Michelle; Brandt, Justin T.; Howle, James F.; Morita, Andrew Y.; Borela, Rodrigo; Bobet, Antonio; Thayer, Daniel C.
Densmore, J.N., Ellett, K.M., Sneed, M., Brandt, J.T., Howle, J.F., Morita, A.Y., Borela, R., Bobet, A., and Thayer, D.C., 2019, Evaluation of land subsidence and ground failures at Bicycle Basin, Fort Irwin National Training Center, California, 1992–2017: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5015, 93 p.,

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Groundwater quality in shallow aquifers in the western Mojave Desert, California

Groundwater provides more than 40 percent of California’s drinking water. To protect this vital resource, the State of California created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The Priority Basin Project (PBP) of the GAMA Program provides a comprehensive assessment of the State’s groundwater quality and increases public...

Groover, Krishangi D.; Goldrath, Dara A.
Groover, K.D., and Goldrath, D.A., 2019, Groundwater quality in shallow aquifers in the western Mojave Desert, California: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3033, 4 p.,

Publication Thumbnail
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