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.

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

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Date published: October 15, 2019

The Ups and Downs of Groundwater Levels after the July 2019 Ridgecrest, CA Earthquakes

Effects from the two July 2019 Ridgecrest, CA earthquakes were observed in several USGS continuous groundwater-level monitoring sites in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Date published: September 23, 2019

USGS Science at Work in the San Francisco Bay Estuary

In an article written for the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, Dr. Paul Work and Dr. Maureen Downing-Kunz, of the California Water Science Center, provide examples of the work being done to measure water flow and quality in the San Francisco Estuary.

Below is the article in its entirety.

Date published: September 10, 2019

The CAWSC is Hiring a Hydrologic Field Assistant!


Do you get excited about working outdoors? Do you enjoy creative problem solving? Would you like to work part to full time in a challenging position that could lead to incredible career opportunities?


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Year Published: 2019

Anthropogenic and geologic causes of anomalously high uranium concentrations in groundwater used for drinking water supply in the southeastern San Joaquin Valley, CA

Concentrations of uranium (U) >30 µg/L in groundwater are relatively uncommon in drinking water in the United States but can be of concern in those areas where complex interactions of aquifer materials and anthropogenic alterations of the natural flow regime mobilize uranium. High concentrations (>30 µg/L) of U in the southeastern San...

Rosen, Michael R.; Burow, Karen R.; Fram, Miranda

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Year Published: 2019

Scenarios of climate adaptation potential on protected working lands from management of soils

Management of protected lands may enhance ecosystem services that conservation programs were designed to protect. Practices that build soil organic matter (SOM) on agricultural lands also increase soil water holding capacity, potentially reducing climatic water deficit (CWD), increasing actual evapotranspiration (AET) and increasing groundwater...

Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, P.; Sleeter, Benjamin; Flint, Lorraine E.; Cameron, D. Richard; Creque, J.

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Year Published: 2019

Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation

High-frequency water-quality monitoring stations measure and transmit data, often in near real-time, from a wide range of aquatic environments to assess the quality of the Nation’s water resources. Common instrumentation for high-frequency water-quality data collection uses a multi-parameter sonde, which typically has sensors that measure and...

Mathany, Timothy M.; Saraceno, John Franco; Kulongoski, Justin T.
Mathany, T.M., Saraceno, J.F., and Kulongoski, J.T., 2019, Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1–D7, 54 p.,