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: November 20, 2018
Status: Active

Aquifer Storage and Recovery

Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a water resources management technique for actively storing water underground during wet periods for recovery when needed, usually during dry periods. The timeframe can range from months to decades. Intentional aquifer storage, with the intent of using the water later, has been used for hundreds of years, but is being further developed and refined as...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Enterococcus Surface Protein as an Indicator of Human Fecal Pollution in the Lower Russian River Basin

Preliminary evaluation of water-quality data collected in the Lower Russian River Basin, Sonoma County, California during an on-going program by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), indicated that there is considerable variability in bacterial concentrations from reach to reach and from year to year. Furthermore, tributaries that maintained...

Contacts: Robert Anders
Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Active

Wildfires and Climate

Over the last several decades, both the incidence of large wildfires and the duration of the wildfire season across much of the United States have increased (Westerling and others, 2006, American Water Works Assn, 2008; Finco and others, 2012). Future wildfire projections based on forecasted climate scenarios indicate both an increase in the expected severity of wildfires, and an...

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Inventory Pesticides in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

In 1998, all urban creeks in the San Francisco Bay Area were added to the Clean Water Act Section 303d list due to known or suspected diazinon impairment. Diazinon is an organophosphorus insecticide used on lawns, and fruit and vegetables. This pesticide has since been "phased out" and has not been available for purchase since late 2004. Diazinon use is declining and is being replaced by other...

Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

Variability of Salinity and Temperature In San Francisco Bay

The USGS has been collecting specific conductance (salinity) and water temperature data in San Francisco Bay (SF Bay) since 1990. Data are typically collected at 5-10 fixed locations throughout the bay, every fifteen minutes, every minute of the day.

Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

High-Speed Mapping of Nutrient Distributions and Water Quality Survey - Lower South San Francisco Bay

This project aims to characterize spatial heterogeneity for key water quality parameters, and pilot the use of underway-flowthrough mapping of biogeochemical properties as a cost-effective approach to monitoring. 

Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

Delta Regional Monitoring Program: Current-use Pesticides

This study will utilize the unique analytical capabilities of the USGS Pesticide Fate Research Group (PFRG), Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory (OCRL) to assess the occurrence of a large suite of understudied, current-use pesticides and pesticide degradates in surface waters entering the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. 

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Phytoplankton production and nutrient transformations in shallow water wetland habitats

The objectives of this study are to quantify and characterize (1) phytoplankton production on Liberty Island, (2) utilization and transformation of nutrients, and (3) attenuation/loss of phytoplankton as the material is transported from Liberty Iisland into Cache Slough.

Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Science Programs and Partnerships

The USGS partners with local, state, and other federal agencies through cooperative agreements for a variety of reasons. The USGS and partners jointly plan the scientific work conducted under cooperative agreements resulting in science that has broad relevance to address current water issues. Partners choose...

Date published: November 8, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrologic Modeling Software

The USGS has been a leader in the development of hydrologic and geochemical simulation models since the 1960's. USGS models are widely used to predict responses of hydrologic systems to changing stresses, such as increases in precipitation or ground-water pumping rates, as well as to predict the fate and movement of solutes and contaminants in water.

Date published: November 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Comprehensive Mercury Studies

The objective specific to work conducted by the CAWSC is to produce a continuous time-series of suspended-sediment flux at an existing site in Alviso Slough.

Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

San Antonio Reservoir Bathymetric Survey and Sedimentation Study

Over time, the flow of water into the San Antonio Reservoir has caused the build-up of sediment, decreasing storage capacity. Since water storage is a crucial issue in California, up-to-date information on the reservoir is needed.  To accomplish this, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission approached the USGS California Water Science Center to conduct a bathymetric (depth) survey and...