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 6, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of environmental impacts of mercury treatability test using suction dredging, South Yuba River

The goals of the BLM suction dredging treatability study are to (1) assess the effectiveness of suction dredging in removing mercury from the environment and (2) assess potential impacts of suction dredging with regard to discharging mercury-contaminated suspended sediment to the aquatic environment.

Contacts: Jacob A Fleck
Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Completed

San Gorgonio Pass Artificial Recharge Investigation

San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA) covers an area of 220 square miles in the mountain pass between the Upper Santa Ana River Basin to the west and the Coachella Valley to the east. Since 1961, when the SGPWA was formed, demand for ground water has increased with the increase in population within the agency boundaries. To prepare for future demands for water, the SGPWA has proposed to...

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Completed

Mercury and Dissolved Organic Matter in Delta Wetlands

Between 1860 and 1914, hydraulic mining activities sent more than 800,000,000 cubic yards of mercury-laden sediment into the Delta altering the landscape, water flows, and contributing to the leveeing and reclamation of the Delta's marshes. Transport of mercury from historic mining areas continues today. The sedimentary supply of mercury to the Delta and in Delta sediments (cinnabar,...

Date published: December 4, 2018
Status: Completed

Scoping Study of Los Angeles River-Arroyo Seco Confluence Park

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is considering plans for developing a new park at the confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco. These plans include removing channel lining and creating a temporary lake using an inflatable rubber dam. Before implementing the plan, a wide array of scientific and engineering issues must be addressed. The U.S. Geological...

Contacts: Michael T Land
Date published: December 3, 2018
Status: Active

A Non-Point Source Of Contaminants To The Estuarine Food Web: Mobilized Particles From The Intertidal Zone

The San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta) region is a highly urbanized and contaminated estuary with a valuable commercial and recreational fishery (Nichlos et al., 1986; SFEI, 2004). Many fish and birds in the San Francisco Estuary exhibit high levels of contaminants (metals and organic pollutants), which have been shown to affect their behavior and reproductive...

Contacts: Jacob A Fleck
Date published: November 28, 2018
Status: Active

Mercury

Mercury is a rare, dense metal, slightly more common than gold in the earth's crust. Mercury occurs in several different forms, the most important of which is methylmercury. Methylmercury is the form most readily incorporated into biological tissues and most toxic to humans. Methylmercury accumulates and biomagnifies in the food chain, reaching highest concentrations in predatory fish such as...

Date published: November 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Assessing the role of winter flooding on baseline greenhouse gas fluxes from corn fields in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Bay Delta

Understanding the magnitude and variability of baseline greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Sacramento – San Joaquin Bay Delta is critical for current and future land management. For example, strategies that maximize carbon sequestration in soils and plants while minimizing unintended consequences such as GHG emissions are likely to produce both economic and environmental benefits for the...

Contacts: Brian Pellerin
Date published: November 27, 2018
Status: Active

Pesticide Occurrence in California – Yolo Bypass Pesticide Analyses

The project is part of an overarching Interagency Ecological Program (IEP)/Department of Water Resources (DWR) study that is focused on understanding the processes by which the Yolo Bypass may provide a fall food web supply for the Cache Slough Complex and downstream regions of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta.  Several studies conducted since 2011 have shown that phytoplankton blooms can be...

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: November 27, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of Climate on Snowmelt and Water Availability for Reservoirs in the Southern Sierra Nevada

Potential changes in air temperature and precipitation due to changes in climate may result in more variable or smaller snow packs and earlier snowmelt in the southern Sierra Nevada in upcoming years. These conditions are likely to result in increased difficulty in planning reservoir operations for hydroelectric power and water availability during springtime snowmelt in this region. Reservoir...

Date published: November 26, 2018
Status: Completed

Methylmercury cycling and export from agricultural and natural wetlands in the Yolo Bypass

The purpose of the work conducted by the USGS California Water Science Center is to help guide Yolo Wildlife Area management practices by identifying the relationships between management effects on dissolved organic matter properties and the resulting role of dissolved organic matter in mercury methylation and biotic uptake measured by the cooperating USGS scientists. The information gathered...

Contacts: Jacob A Fleck
Date published: November 26, 2018
Status: Completed

Development of Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) for the Yuba River Basin, Northeastern California, with application for streamflow predictability and flood forecasting

Reservoirs in the Yuba River Basin are operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of the Feather-Yuba Forecast Coordinated Operations Program, and play an important role in flood management, water quality, and the health of fisheries as far downstream as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The basin has been developed for hydropower and irrigation diversions, so that measured...

Contacts: Kathryn Koczot
Date published: November 20, 2018
Status: Completed

Spatially Explicit Mapping of Hydrologic Residence Time Paired with Water Quality Measurements to Determine the Effects of the Emergency Drought Barrier

The purpose of this study is to assess the distribution of water residence times across the central Delta using rapid water isotope measurements (δ2H, δ18O) made with a boat-based flow-through instrument.

Contacts: Bryan Downing