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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.

News

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Media Alert: Helicopter Will Survey Portions of the Colorado River Basin for Water Studies

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April Showers may Bring May Flowers, but Winter Snow is Water in the Bank

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

Publications

Over a third of groundwater in USA public-supply aquifers is Anthropocene-age and susceptible to surface contamination

The distribution of groundwater age is useful for evaluating the susceptibility and sustainability of groundwater resources. Here, we compute the aquifer-scale cumulative distribution function to characterize the age distribution for 21 Principal Aquifers that account for ~80% of public-supply pumping in the United States. The aquifer-scale cumulative distribution function for each Principal Aquif

Characterization of and temporal changes in groundwater quality of the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin, El Paso County, Colorado, 2018–20

In 2018–20, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District, sampled 48 wells for Phase III of a multiphase plan investigating groundwater quality in the alluvial aquifer of the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin (UBSB), El Paso County, Colorado. Results for samples collected from October to December each year were used to assess spatial an

Elevated nitrogen deposition to fire-prone forests adjacent to urban and agricultural areas, Colorado front range, USA

As humans increasingly dominate the nitrogen cycle, deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) will continue to have adverse consequences for ecosystems. In the Rocky Mountains, Nr deposition remains elevated and has become increasingly dominated by ammonium, despite efforts to reduce emissions. Currently, spatial models of Nr deposition do not fully account for urban and agricultural emissions, sources

Science

Upper Black Squirrel Creek Water Level Monitoring Network

The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Ground Water Basin in eastern El Paso County, Colorado, relies heavily on groundwater from the Denver Basin aquifer system and an alluvial aquifer completed in Quaternary-age deposits for water supply. Population growth in the basin has placed increasing demands on groundwater resources, and future groundwater withdrawals are expected to increase as the...
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Upper Black Squirrel Creek Water Level Monitoring Network

The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Ground Water Basin in eastern El Paso County, Colorado, relies heavily on groundwater from the Denver Basin aquifer system and an alluvial aquifer completed in Quaternary-age deposits for water supply. Population growth in the basin has placed increasing demands on groundwater resources, and future groundwater withdrawals are expected to increase as the...
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Upper Black Squirrel Creek Long-term Groundwater Quality Study

The alluvial aquifer of the upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin, about 15 miles east of Colorado Springs, supplies most of the water for irrigation and domestic use in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Ground Water Basin (UBSCDGWB) and, since 1964, supplies water for export to the Colorado Springs area. Substantial residential growth in the UBSCDGWB, which utilizes both domestic septic...
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Upper Black Squirrel Creek Long-term Groundwater Quality Study

The alluvial aquifer of the upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin, about 15 miles east of Colorado Springs, supplies most of the water for irrigation and domestic use in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Ground Water Basin (UBSCDGWB) and, since 1964, supplies water for export to the Colorado Springs area. Substantial residential growth in the UBSCDGWB, which utilizes both domestic septic...
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Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from atmospheric...
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Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from atmospheric...
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