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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.

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Delta Wetlands and Resilience: Blue Carbon and Marsh Accretion

Blue carbon ecosystems (BCEs) are coastal ecosystems, such as tidal marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, with manageable and atmospherically significant carbon stocks and fluxes. The tidal marshes and scrub-shrub wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) of California are examples of BCEs. The Delta is a 2,400 square kilometer tidal freshwater region located at the landward end of the...
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Delta Wetlands and Resilience: Blue Carbon and Marsh Accretion

Blue carbon ecosystems (BCEs) are coastal ecosystems, such as tidal marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, with manageable and atmospherically significant carbon stocks and fluxes. The tidal marshes and scrub-shrub wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) of California are examples of BCEs. The Delta is a 2,400 square kilometer tidal freshwater region located at the landward end of the...
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Identifying the Source and Taxa That are Producing Microcystins Detected in San Francisco Bay

Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (previously known as blue-green algae ) that are harmful to humans and other animals. In 2012, microcystins began to be detected in San Francisco Bay (SFB). This was unexpected because most microcystin producing cyanobacteria live in freshwater. On-going microcystin-related work has focused on monitoring the presence of microcystins in water and...
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Identifying the Source and Taxa That are Producing Microcystins Detected in San Francisco Bay

Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (previously known as blue-green algae ) that are harmful to humans and other animals. In 2012, microcystins began to be detected in San Francisco Bay (SFB). This was unexpected because most microcystin producing cyanobacteria live in freshwater. On-going microcystin-related work has focused on monitoring the presence of microcystins in water and...
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Monitoring Drought Conditions in the Upper Feather River Watershed

The Upper Feather River Watershed is one of California’s regions of highest precipitation. Its runoff provides the majority of water delivered by the State Water Project, an average 3.2 million-acre feet each year feeding into Lake Oroville.
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Monitoring Drought Conditions in the Upper Feather River Watershed

The Upper Feather River Watershed is one of California’s regions of highest precipitation. Its runoff provides the majority of water delivered by the State Water Project, an average 3.2 million-acre feet each year feeding into Lake Oroville.
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Forecasting Total Dissolved Solids Concentrations of Groundwater from the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project

The USGS seeks to increase understanding of the groundwater system in the vicinity of the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project well field and to estimate future groundwater levels and total dissolved solids concentrations in the wells and the long-term viability of the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project.
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Forecasting Total Dissolved Solids Concentrations of Groundwater from the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project

The USGS seeks to increase understanding of the groundwater system in the vicinity of the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project well field and to estimate future groundwater levels and total dissolved solids concentrations in the wells and the long-term viability of the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project.
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Evaluation of Hydrodynamic Mixing in Keswick Reservoir, California

Keswick Reservoir, on the Sacramento River, receives both water and contaminants from the Spring Creek Debris Dam. The term contaminants refers here to different kinds of chemicals that are in some instances delivered to lakes and rivers. These chemicals can have a detrimental effect on drinking water supplies and the health of humans, fish, and other aquatic species.
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Evaluation of Hydrodynamic Mixing in Keswick Reservoir, California

Keswick Reservoir, on the Sacramento River, receives both water and contaminants from the Spring Creek Debris Dam. The term contaminants refers here to different kinds of chemicals that are in some instances delivered to lakes and rivers. These chemicals can have a detrimental effect on drinking water supplies and the health of humans, fish, and other aquatic species.
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California Drought

The USGS closely monitors the effects of drought through data collection and research. USGS science supports water managers in preparing for possible future drought by providing information that takes into account long-term hydrologic, climatic, and environmental changes. These studies support successful planning and science-based decision-making by water managers who must address complex issues...
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California Drought

The USGS closely monitors the effects of drought through data collection and research. USGS science supports water managers in preparing for possible future drought by providing information that takes into account long-term hydrologic, climatic, and environmental changes. These studies support successful planning and science-based decision-making by water managers who must address complex issues...
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Investigation of Groundwater and Surface Water Interactions in Support of Ecosystem Management at San Sebastian Marsh, California

To help the U.S. Bureau of Land Management determine the long-term sustainability of the San Sebastian Marsh, and its critical role for the survival of the endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius), the USGS is evaluating the potential interactions and relation between groundwater and surface water at the San Sebastian Marsh.
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Investigation of Groundwater and Surface Water Interactions in Support of Ecosystem Management at San Sebastian Marsh, California

To help the U.S. Bureau of Land Management determine the long-term sustainability of the San Sebastian Marsh, and its critical role for the survival of the endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius), the USGS is evaluating the potential interactions and relation between groundwater and surface water at the San Sebastian Marsh.
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Continuous, Real-Time Water-Quality Monitoring of the Los Angeles River

As part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) program, this project will bring enhanced water-quality monitoring to a stretch of the Los Angeles River slated for revitalization. The UWFP reconnects urban communities—particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed—with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies.
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Continuous, Real-Time Water-Quality Monitoring of the Los Angeles River

As part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) program, this project will bring enhanced water-quality monitoring to a stretch of the Los Angeles River slated for revitalization. The UWFP reconnects urban communities—particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed—with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies.
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State of the Network: Long-Term, High-Frequency Flow and Water Quality Data in the San Francisco Estuary, California

The San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta form one of the largest estuaries in the United States. Water flow and water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary are important to the economies of both California and the nation. The Bay-Delta system provides water to more than 25 million California residents and vast farmlands, as well as key habitat for birds, fish, and other...
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State of the Network: Long-Term, High-Frequency Flow and Water Quality Data in the San Francisco Estuary, California

The San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta form one of the largest estuaries in the United States. Water flow and water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary are important to the economies of both California and the nation. The Bay-Delta system provides water to more than 25 million California residents and vast farmlands, as well as key habitat for birds, fish, and other...
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Scotts Creek Nutrient Erosion Study, Lake County, California

Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within California, has a severe problem with harmful algal blooms which can be detrimental to aquatic life by depriving it of oxygen when the algae dies, sinks, and decays. A driving factor of these conditions are the nutrient loads being carried into the lake by soil erosion and the transport of sediment from the lake’s tributaries. Recently, an...
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Scotts Creek Nutrient Erosion Study, Lake County, California

Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within California, has a severe problem with harmful algal blooms which can be detrimental to aquatic life by depriving it of oxygen when the algae dies, sinks, and decays. A driving factor of these conditions are the nutrient loads being carried into the lake by soil erosion and the transport of sediment from the lake’s tributaries. Recently, an...
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Assessing Sediment Nutrient Storage and Release in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Sediments represent an important pool of nutrients in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). The exchange of nutrients between the water column and the benthos impacts water quality and effects phytoplankton, harmful algal blooms, aquatic vegetation, and drinking water quality. To date, there is very limited information about nutrient pools in Delta sediments, nor how these nutrients are...
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Assessing Sediment Nutrient Storage and Release in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Sediments represent an important pool of nutrients in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). The exchange of nutrients between the water column and the benthos impacts water quality and effects phytoplankton, harmful algal blooms, aquatic vegetation, and drinking water quality. To date, there is very limited information about nutrient pools in Delta sediments, nor how these nutrients are...
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Ecosystem Engineering Impacts of Water Primrose in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Many non-native fish, invertebrates, and plants have colonized the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) of California, the landward most region of the San Francisco Estuary. Included among these invasive species is the water primrose (Ludwigia spp.), an aggressive floating aquatic plant that is native to South and Central America and parts of the US, but invasive in California. Water primrose is...
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Ecosystem Engineering Impacts of Water Primrose in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Many non-native fish, invertebrates, and plants have colonized the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) of California, the landward most region of the San Francisco Estuary. Included among these invasive species is the water primrose (Ludwigia spp.), an aggressive floating aquatic plant that is native to South and Central America and parts of the US, but invasive in California. Water primrose is...
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