Colorado Water Science Center


Welcome to the USGS Colorado Water Science Center!  Please use these pages to explore the hydrologic data and scientific investigations we conduct on Colorado water resources.

Current Water Conditions

Current Water Conditions

Explore real-time Colorado streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality conditions.

Current Conditions

Science Highlight

Science Highlight

To better characterize the water supply capacity of Clear Creek Reservoir, a bathymetry survey was conducted. The methods used allowed water-resource managers to maintain typical reservoir operations and eliminate the need to empty the reservoir.

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Date published: December 10, 2020

Bakken Shale unconventional oil and gas production has not caused widespread hydrocarbon contamination to date in groundwater used for water supply

A new USGS study reports that shale-oil and -gas production from a major production area in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota has not caused widespread hydrocarbon contamination to date in nearby aquifer zones used for drinking-water supply.

Date published: May 12, 2020

USGS Responds to Spring Flooding

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring flooding across the country as spring weather is in full swing. Warming temperatures, increased precipitation and snowmelt have caused moderate to major flooding in the upper Midwest, East Coast, Central Plains and the Southeast portions of the country.


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Year Published: 2020

Geochemistry and age of groundwater in the Williston Basin, USA: Assessing potential effects of shale-oil production on groundwater quality

Thirty water wells were sampled in 2018 to understand the geochemistry and age of groundwater in the Williston Basin and assess potential effects of shale-oil production from the Three Forks-Bakken petroleum system (TBPS) on groundwater quality. Two geochemical groups are identified using hierarchical cluster analysis. Group 1 represents the...

McMahon, Peter B.; Galloway, Joel M.; Hunt, Andrew; Belitz, Kenneth; Jurgens, Bryant; Johnson, Tyler D.

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Year Published: 2020

Critical shifts in trace metal transport and remediation performance under future low river flows

Exceptionally low river flows are predicted to become more frequent and more severe across many global regions as a consequence of climate change. Investigations of trace metal transport dynamics across streamflows reveal stark changes in water chemistry, metal transformation processes, and remediation effectiveness under exceptionally low-flow...

Byrne, Patrick; Onnis, Patrizia; Runkel, Robert L.; Frau, Ilaria; Lynch, Sarah F.L.; Edwards, Paul

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Year Published: 2020

Spatial variability in seasonal snowpack trends across the Rio Grande headwaters (1984 - 2017)

This study evaluated the spatial variability of trends in simulated snowpack properties across the Rio Grande headwaters of Colorado using the SnowModel snow evolution modeling system. SnowModel simulations were performed using a grid resolution of 100 m and 3-hourly time step over a 34-yr period (1984–2017). Atmospheric forcing was provided by...

Sexstone, Graham A.; Penn, Colin A.; Liston, Glen; Gleason, Kelly; Moeser, C. David; Clow, David W.