Colorado Water Science Center

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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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News

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.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of diel cycling in nutrients and trace elements in the Eagle River Basin, 2017–18

Diel cycles are known to occur in all types of waters, and increasing studies indicate routine water samples may not provide an accurate snapshot in concentrations of trace elements and nutrients. Diel behavior in neutral to alkaline pH ranges is independent of streamflow variability and concentration. Extensive historical U.S. Geological Survey (...

Richards, Rodney J.; Henneberg, Mark F.
Richards, R.J., and Henneberg, M.F., 2021, Assessment of diel cycling in nutrients and trace elements in the Eagle River Basin, 2017–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5066, 36 p., https://doi.org/ 10.3133/ sir20215066.

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Year Published: 2021

Using an unmanned aerial vehicle water sampler to gather data in a pit-lake mining environment to assess closure and monitoring

Residual pit lakes from mining are often dangerous to sample for water quality. Thus, pit lakes may be rarely (or never) sampled. This study developed new technology in which water-sampling devices, mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), were used to sample three pit lakes in Nevada, USA, during 1 week in 2017. Water-quality datasets...

Straight, Brian; Castendyk, Devin; McKnight, Diane M.; Newman, Connor; Filiatreault, Pierre; Pino, Americo

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Year Published: 2021

Water–rock interaction and the concentrations of major, trace, and rare earth elements in hydrocarbon-associated produced waters of the United States

Studies of co-produced waters from hydrocarbon extraction across multiple energy-producing basins have generally focused on major ions or a few select tracers, and studies that examine trace elements and involve laboratory experiments have generally been basin specific. Here, new perspective is sought through a broad analysis of concentration data...

Bern, Carleton R.; Birdwell, Justin E.; Jubb, Aaron M.