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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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Drought in California

The USGS closely monitors the occurence and effects of drought through data collection and research. USGS science supports water managers in preparing for possible future drought by providing information about 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 and...
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Drought in California

The USGS closely monitors the occurence and effects of drought through data collection and research. USGS science supports water managers in preparing for possible future drought by providing information about 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 and...
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Floods in California

Throughout the nation, the USGS operates a streamgage network in near real-time that helps emergency managers and others protect life and property due to floods and other water-related hazards. The USGS California Water Science Center maintains nearly 500 streamgages that provides key streamflow and water level data for flood forecasters, the public, and emergency managers at the federal, state...
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Floods in California

Throughout the nation, the USGS operates a streamgage network in near real-time that helps emergency managers and others protect life and property due to floods and other water-related hazards. The USGS California Water Science Center maintains nearly 500 streamgages that provides key streamflow and water level data for flood forecasters, the public, and emergency managers at the federal, state...
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Wildfires in California

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 expansion of...
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Wildfires in California

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 expansion of...
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Water-Quality Monitoring in the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin of the Los Angeles River Watershed

As part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP), this project will enhance water-quality monitoring on a reach 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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Water-Quality Monitoring in the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin of the Los Angeles River Watershed

As part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP), this project will enhance water-quality monitoring on a reach 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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Selenium Cycling in Salton Sea Wetlands

The effect of selenium toxicity on wildlife has been known for more than 50 years. This issue drew particular attention in the 1980s when embryo deformity and mortality was observed in birds at a wildlife refuge in California. Harmful effects from selenium were determined to be connected to irrigation drainage water. As a result, an effort began to monitor levels of selenium in irrigation drainage...
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Selenium Cycling in Salton Sea Wetlands

The effect of selenium toxicity on wildlife has been known for more than 50 years. This issue drew particular attention in the 1980s when embryo deformity and mortality was observed in birds at a wildlife refuge in California. Harmful effects from selenium were determined to be connected to irrigation drainage water. As a result, an effort began to monitor levels of selenium in irrigation drainage...
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Emergency Drought Barrier’s Impacts on cyanoHABs and Water Quality

Drought is making the Delta Saltier. Less freshwater coming from watershed runoff and reservoir releases means that more salty water flows into the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta (Delta) from the Pacific Ocean. Changes in Delta salinity have far-reaching impacts, affecting the water supply for agriculture, drinking, wildlife, and Delta ecosystems.
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Emergency Drought Barrier’s Impacts on cyanoHABs and Water Quality

Drought is making the Delta Saltier. Less freshwater coming from watershed runoff and reservoir releases means that more salty water flows into the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta (Delta) from the Pacific Ocean. Changes in Delta salinity have far-reaching impacts, affecting the water supply for agriculture, drinking, wildlife, and Delta ecosystems.
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Hydrologic and Aquatic Ecology Studies at Clear Lake, California

The USGS California Water Science Center conducts a variety of research activities at Clear Lake, California, including surface-water monitoring and water quality and aquatic habitat studies.
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Hydrologic and Aquatic Ecology Studies at Clear Lake, California

The USGS California Water Science Center conducts a variety of research activities at Clear Lake, California, including surface-water monitoring and water quality and aquatic habitat studies.
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Klamath Dam Removal Studies

The USGS is collecting continuous and discrete monitoring data to document baseline conditions and physical responses in downstream river reaches before, during, and after dam removal. These monitoring data will be integral for post-removal assessments and collaborations with basin partners.
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Klamath Dam Removal Studies

The USGS is collecting continuous and discrete monitoring data to document baseline conditions and physical responses in downstream river reaches before, during, and after dam removal. These monitoring data will be integral for post-removal assessments and collaborations with basin partners.
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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 and modeling soil moisture to improve runoff forecasting and drought characterization in the Feather River Basin

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 and modeling soil moisture to improve runoff forecasting and drought characterization in the Feather River Basin

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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