California Water Science Center

Surface Water

Streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs - collectively referred to as surface water - are important natural resources for irrigation, public supply, wetlands and wildlife. Surface water is also measured as annual runoff, which is the amount of rain and snowmelt drainage left after the demands of nature, evaporation from land, and transpiration from vegetation have been supplied. It supplies most of our basic water needs.

Filter Total Items: 114
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Evaluation of Exposure and Vulnerability of Selected Inland National Wildlife Refuges in the Pacific Southwest to Water Resources Constraints in the Face of Climate Change using Downscaled Climate Change Modeling

As competition for water is growing, a major challenge is to ensure that sufficient quantities of good quality water are available for fish, wildlife, and plants. Competition for a limited supply of water with adequate water quality to support National Wildlife Refuges are a dominant threat for many National Wildlife Refuges across the U.S. and is only heightened during times of drought and in...

Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Active

Add-on to: Determination of Mercury Loads for Cache Creek Settling Basin Inflow and Outflows and Related Investigations

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Cache Creek Settling Basin (CCSB) in Yolo County.

Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Quantification of Mercury Flux in Eroding Mining Debris, Yuba River Watershed, California

At two priority locations on BLM-administered land in the Yuba River watershed, the USGS has documented relatively rapid erosion of river bank material that consists of mercury (Hg)-laden sediment with a significant component of mining debris. 

Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Determining Water Availability in the Russian River Watershed

The Russian River Watershed covers 1,500 square miles of urban, agricultural and forested lands in northern Sonoma County and southern Mendocino County, California. Communities in the Russian River Watershed (RRW) depend on a combination of Russian River water and groundwater to meet their water-supply demands. Water is used primarily for agricultural irrigation, municipal and private wells...

Contacts: Tracy Nishikawa
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Mapping Sturgeon Spawning Habitat in the Lower San Joaquin River

The spawning of adult white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) in the lower San Joaquin River was documented recently by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (Gruber and others, 2012; Jackson and Eenennaam, 2013). Streamflow on the San Joaquin River has been modified by State and Federal water project operations, and there are a variety of questions regarding the...

Contacts: Scott A Wright
Date published: December 18, 2018
Status: Completed

Pesticide Studies in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay Estuary

The objectives of this specific study are to characterize the mixtures of current-use pesticides and pesticide degradates entering the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta from its two main river sources over a period of 12 consecutive months. 

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: December 18, 2018
Status: Completed

Understanding Juvenile Salmon Entrainment and Survival in the South Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Through the Use of Acoustic Telemetry and Hydrodynamic Measurements

This study will use the release-recapture information derived from the 2012 receiver array to populate a mark-recapture model based on a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model in combination with a route-specific survival model of Skalski et al. (2002) to derive maximum likelihood estimates and standard errors of reach specific survival and entrainment rates at important junctions, similar to what was used...

Contacts: Jon Burau
Date published: December 17, 2018
Status: Completed

Delta sediment measurements to support numerical modeling of turbidity

The purpose of the proposed work is to collect data that will support the development, calibration, and validation of numerical models of sediment transport and turbidity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Contacts: Scott A Wright
Date published: December 17, 2018
Status: Completed

Geomorphic Assessment and Restoration Alternatives Development for the Merced River in East Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) and USGS jointly will investigate impacts to the Merced River due to infrastructure and historic channel widening in east Yosemite Valley with a goal of constructing river management alternatives. Past management actions, such as gravel mining, channel riprap, and the construction of bridges that do not accommodate flood flows, have had long-lasting impacts to...

Contacts: Scott A Wright
Date published: December 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Additional characterization of the impact of suction dredging, South Yuba River – Humbug Creek

The potential impacts of suction dredging on water quality remain largely undetermined, especially with regard to trace metals including Hg. Several State of California regulatory agencies have expressed concerns that suction dredging may cause deleterious impacts with regard to turbidity and Hg contamination in downstream areas.

Date published: December 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Determination of Mercury Loads for Cache Creek Settling Basin Inflow and Outflows and Related Investigations

Mercury (Hg), a legacy pollutant from mining of mercury deposits in the Coast Ranges as well as gold deposits in the Sierra Nevada, has contaminated surface waters throughout northern . Methylmercury (MeHg) is an organic form of Hg that bioaccumulates in food webs to elevated concentrations that threaten ecological health and human health through consumption of sport fish. 

Date published: December 14, 2018
Status: Completed

San Joaquin-Sacramento Basin Rain Flood Duration Skew Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is conducting a hydrologic analysis of floodplain areas protected by the federal-state levee system within the San Joaquin-Sacramento drainage basins.