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: 121
Date published: December 10, 2018
Status: Active

Surrogate Monitoring of Sediment Transport using Hydrophones along the San Joaquin River and Tributaries

Traditional methods for measuring coarse bedload sediment transport by discrete physical sampling tend to be labor intensive and expensive (Gray and others, 2010). As such, bedload samples often are collected too infrequently to capture the temporal variability inherent in transport rates, which can vary significantly, sometimes by a factor of ten or more, over time periods of...

Date published: December 10, 2018
Status: Active

Forecasting Total Dissolved Solids Concentrations of Groundwater from the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project

The All-American Canal (AAC) in southern Imperial County, California, has historically been unlined, resulting in substantial losses to seepage. In 2006, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), under a contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), initiated a project to build a concrete-lined canal parallel to 23 miles of the earthen AAC. Construction was completed in...

Date published: December 10, 2018
Status: Completed

Trends in Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta contains high concentrations of disinfection byproduct-forming (DBP-forming) materials when treated for potable use. DBPs form when dissolved organic compounds (DOC) in water react with disinfectants such as chlorine and ozone during the water treatment process. The amount of DBPs that form is a function of both the amount and source of the DOC, both...

Date published: December 10, 2018
Status: Completed

The role of the alien clam Corbicula fluminea in the regulation of organic carbon in the San Joaquin River watershed

Sources and fate of various forms of organic carbon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and San Joaquin River watershed are of concern because of the importance of identifying the sources of carbon contributing to the oxygen depletion zone on the San Joaquin River near the city of Stockton, the need to understand the causes of the low primary and secondary production in the Delta, and...

Contacts: Larry Brown
Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Pathogen Total Maximum Daily Loads Modeling in the Chino Basin

The Santa Ana River in Southern California is the primary water supply for approximately 2 million people. The main constituent of regulatory concern is pathogens that have impaired the use of waters for the beneficial uses of warm freshwater habitat and noncontact water recreation. Pathogen loadings from the tributary watershed flows into lakes and streams leading into the Santa Ana River....

Contacts: John Izbicki
Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Processes Controlling Riverbank Filtration of Pathogens in the Russian River Basin, Sonoma County, California

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) supplies drinking water to municipalities and water districts in Sonoma and Marin Counties by diverting water from the alluvial aquifer underlying and adjacent to the Russian River. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with SCWA, is conducting an ongoing research program on water quality conditions in the Russian River and the physical and...

Contacts: Robert Anders
Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Active

Continuous Monitoring of Water Quality and Suspended-Sediment Transport in the San Francisco Bay and Delta

Our group at the USGS continuously monitors suspended-sediment concentration (SSC), turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, and water level at many sites throughout the San Francisco Bay (Bay) and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta (Delta).

Our work began in 1988 to explore the spatial and temporal variability of water quality and sediment transport and to provide...

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Pyrethroids

Pyrethroid insecticide use in California has been increasing in recent years. Pyrethroids are used in both agricultural and urban areas. They are of environmental concern because of their high toxicity to fish and invertebrates.

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Sedimentation in the Lower Laguna-Mark West Drainage

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) and the San Francisco District office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CORPS) have identified issues associated with sedimentation in the lower Laguna de Santa Rosa and Mark West Creek in Sonoma County. Human activities in the watershed over the last 200 years have accelerated erosion and sediment delivery to the Laguna reducing the water storage...

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Active

Subsidence in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of the San Francisco Estuary, home to a diverse flora and fauna, including several threatened and endangered species, has a large area of prime farmland, and serves as the hub of California's freshwater-delivery system that moves water from the wet north to the dry southern part of the State.

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Completed

Methylmercury and Low Dissolved Oxygen Events in Suisun Marsh

The primary purpose of the USGS portion of this proposed study is to evaluate if spectrophotometric and spectrofluorometric methods are useful for identifying organic sources of oxygen demand by analyzing water-quality samples (DO, BOD, Chl, SSC, Salinity, THg, MeHg) collected by other agencies and project participants. Sources to be evaluated include algal production, vegetation, soils, and...

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Completed

Inundation Area '06 New Year's Flood in the Laguna-Mark West Drainage

The Laguna de Santa Rosa, located in Sonoma County, California, flows into Mark West Creek, which drains into the Russian River. The Laguna-Mark West drainage is the largest drainage contributing to the Russian River, encompassing approximately 21% of the total Russian River basin. Runoff from precipitation in headwater areas enters fast-flowing creeks that transport water and sediment...