California Water Science Center


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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.

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Date published: November 5, 2020

Scientists Study Selenium Hazard in the Salton Sea Environment

In the past decade, Salton Sea water elevation has declined due to drought, lining of canals, and changes to management of the Colorado River. This has resulted in the creation of new wetlands caused by drains and rivers no longer reaching the Salton Sea.

Date published: October 1, 2020

Invasive Mussel Species Impacts the Food Web in Lake Mead

In an article for the journal Science of the Total Environment, USGS scientists and others discuss the impact of invasive quagga mussels on the ecosystem of Lake Mead located on the border of Arizona and Nevada. 


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Year Published: 2021

Trends in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment concentrations and loads in streams draining to Lake Tahoe, California, Nevada, USA

Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake of the eastern Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada, has 63 tributaries that are sources of nutrients and sediment to the lake. The Tahoe watershed is relatively small, and the surface area of the lake occupies about 38% of the watershed area (1313 km2). Only about 6% of the watershed is urbanized or...

Domagalski, Joseph L.; Morway, Eric D.; Alvarez, Nancy L.; Hutchins, Juliet; Rosen, Michael R.; Coats, Robert

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Year Published: 2021

Movement of synthetic organic compounds in the food web after the introduction of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) in Lake Mead, Nevada and Arizona, USA

Introductions of dreissenid mussels in North America have been a significant concern over the last few decades. This study assessed the distribution of synthetic organic compounds (SOCs) in the food web of Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona, USA and how this distribution was influenced by the introduction of invasive quagga mussels. A clear spatial...

Goodbred, Steven L.; Rosen, Michael R.; Patino, Reynaldo; Alvarez, David; Echols, Kathy R.; King, Kerensa; Umek, John

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Year Published: 2020

A lagrangian-to-eulerian metric to identify estuarine pelagic habitats

Estuaries are among the world’s most productive ecosystems, but recent natural and anthropogenic changes have stressed these ecosystems. Tools to assess estuarine pelagic habitats are important to support and maintain healthy ecosystem function. In this work, we demonstrate that estuarine pelagic habitats can be identified by a simple ratio,...

Stumpner, Paul; Burau, Jon R.; Forrest, Alexander L.