California Water Science Center

Measuring and Monitoring

Basic hydrologic data collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and archiving are major parts of the California Water Science Center program. Streamflow data, for example, are used for flood and water-supply forecasts, planning and design, river regulation, streamflow statistics, and research investigations. Much of the data are available on a near-real-time basis by satellite telemetry.

Filter Total Items: 135
Date published: April 8, 2020
Status: Active

Evaluation of Groundwater Resources in the Adelaida Area of San Luis Obispo County, California

Stakeholders in San Luis Obispo County are concerned that the increased demand for water use has, and will continue to, affect groundwater levels and availability in the Adelaida area. To address stakeholder concerns, the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors has asked the USGS to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of groundwater resources of the Adelaida area. 

Date published: February 18, 2020
Status: Active

Evaluation of groundwater resources of the Anza-Terwilliger area, Anza, California

Groundwater is the sole source for water use to the rural community and two Native American tribes in the Cahuilla Valley and Terwilliger Valley groundwater basins, which are located approximately 35 miles southwest of Palm Springs, California. The characteristics and sustainable yield of the basins are not well understood and are threatened by increasing water use and potential changes in...

Date published: July 24, 2019
Status: Active

Organic Matter Research Laboratory

The USGS California Water Science Center's Organic Matter Research Laboratory provides laboratory services and support to regional and national projects in the analysis of organic matter using the latest methods in absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy along with standard measurement of total dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen concentration.

Date published: June 13, 2019
Status: Active

Improving Forecasting for California's Snow Melt Water Supply

California's Sierra Nevada snowpack accounts for much of the water supply in many parts of the state. The snowpack retains large amounts of water in the winter that is then released as temperatures rise in the spring and summer. The snowpack also keeps the Sierra soil moist by covering it longer into spring and summer. Soil moisture influences the onset of wildfires, as well as wildfire...

Date published: June 12, 2019
Status: Active

Land Subsidence in California

Extensive groundwater withdrawals from aquifer systems have caused land subsidence in many California basins. Land subsidence can cause infrastructure damage, not only to buildings and roads but also to water conveyence systems. Groundwater-level and land-subsidence monitoring provide the information needed to guide mitigation efforts and management of future effects.

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

San Diego Hydrogeology

This is the first comprehensive geologic and hydrologic study for the San Diego area. This study will provide the integrated hydrogeologic knowledge necessary in this important and highly visible area of the United States and will serve as a role model for similar coastal settings throughout the world that have modest rainfall and small aquifers. Locally, results will help...

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: May 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment (GAMA)

The Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program’s Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) was established by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in response to the Ground-Water Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 (Sections 10780-10782.3 of the California Water Code). The USGS is the technical lead for the GAMA-PBP and between 2004-2012 focused on characterizing the...

Contacts: Miranda Fram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Occurrence of natural and anthropogenic hexavalent chromium (Cr VI) in groundwater near a mapped plume, Hinkley, CA

Between 1952 and 1964, cooling water was treated with a compound containing chromium to prevent corrosion within the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Hinkley Compressor Station. This water was discharged to unlined ponds, resulting in contamination of soil and groundwater within the underlying alluvial aquifer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the occurrence of natural and...

Contacts: John Izbicki
Date published: March 13, 2019
Status: Active

Neonicotinoid Seed Treatment Study

Neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine. Like nicotine, they act on receptors in the nerves and are generally much more toxic to insects, than they are to mammals and other higher organisms. Their use has increased rapidly over the last decade, driven in large part by their use for seed coating. Seed coating is when a seed is treated with an insecticide...

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: March 8, 2019
Status: Active

Soil Stratigraphy and Erosion Potential on the American and Sacramento Rivers

Much of the Sacramento region is protected from flooding by levees constructed on the American and Sacramento Rivers, which join near downtown Sacramento before flowing to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Date published: February 4, 2019
Status: Completed

Using the Basin Characterization Model (BCM) to Estimate Natural Recharge in Indian Wells Valley, California

Located in the northern Mojave Desert, the Indian Wells Valley has an arid environment, receiving only 4-6 inches of precipitation annually. Like most desert areas, Indian Wells Valley communities rely mostly on groundwater for their available groundwater supply. Increases in urban and agricultural development have resulted in increased groundwater pumpage for public and agricultural use,...

Contacts: Dina Saleh
Date published: January 30, 2019
Status: Completed

Cuyama Valley Water Availability Study

Currently, groundwater is the only source for domestic, agricultural and municipal water use in the Cuyama Valley groundwater basin in Santa Barbara County, California. Groundwater withdrawals, mainly to irrigate agricultural crops, have resulted in water-level declines of as much as 300 feet in the area since the 1940s. To plan for sustainable future use of the groundwater, the U.S....

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt