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Message from the Director

Message from the Director, Dakota Water Science Center



Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Dakota Water Science Center (DWSC) web site. From this page you can access data, interpretive reports, press releases, photos, and other information on the hydrology of North and South Dakota. The mission of the DWSC is to collect high-quality hydrologic data and to conduct objective scientific investigations into the quantity, quality, and uses of surface-, and sub-surface water resources the Dakotas. The DWSC consists of two major Program Offices in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Bismarck, North Dakota. There are additional field offices in Huron, Pierre, and Grand Forks. The offices are spread across the states to be as responsive as possible to hydrological events as well as maintain liaison with cooperating State, Federal, and Tribal partners. Broadly speaking, the DWSC consists of two primary components, 1.) the Data Section, which operates the data collection network, and 2.) the Studies Section which carries out scientific investigations on the quantity, quality, and use of water resources.



Data: The 394-Data Section maintains a network of hydrologic data-collection sites and compiles hydrologic data collected from these sites for public use. Hydrologic data include records of (1) stage and discharge of principal rivers and streams; (2) chemistry and suspended sediment concentration of selected rivers; (3) water levels in selected aquifers; and (4) water use. The data are verified, compiled and permanently archived into USGS databases. A single point of retrieval for the public for all water sites in the United States is available at Nearly all sites in the DWSC are available in real-time, using satellite and cellular phone telemetry to transmit current hydrologic conditions at the more than 370 hydrologic data collection stations in North and South.

Studies: The investigation and assessment of the surface-water and groundwater resources of North and South Dakota are accomplished through a series of projects conducted by the Studies Section. Program emphasis is to provide timely, objective hydrologic information to Federal, Tribal, State and local agencies regarding water-supply availability, water quality, water-source identification, and water-resource management. The DWSC works cooperatively with many partners in North and South Dakota to assist them in their efforts to manage their water resources.

I hope you find the information and contacts on this website to be valuable. If you have specific questions, concerns, or need further information about the DWSC or the water resources of the Dakotas, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Eric T. Volkman, Director, USGS Dakota Water Science Center