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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

Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
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Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
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Integrated Science Approach

The USGS has a long history of delivering science and tools to help decision-makers manage and mitigate effects of drought. The timing is critical for the USGS to consolidate its diverse expertise into a single landscape-scale effort to rapidly provide integrated transdisciplinary, targeted data, tools, and models required by decision makers in the Basin. This initiative unifies USGS expertise...
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Integrated Science Approach

The USGS has a long history of delivering science and tools to help decision-makers manage and mitigate effects of drought. The timing is critical for the USGS to consolidate its diverse expertise into a single landscape-scale effort to rapidly provide integrated transdisciplinary, targeted data, tools, and models required by decision makers in the Basin. This initiative unifies USGS expertise...
Learn More

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...
Learn More