New York Water Science Center

Water Quality

Different uses of water may require a different level of “quality” of water; for example, water that contains dirt and grime might work fine for agricultural uses, but industrial uses and drinking water require a different level of water quality; or water that might be safe to use in industrial and agricultural uses may not be safe to drink or promote healthy ecosystems. The NYWSC collects water-quality data for all water resources and works with the public, government agencies, organizations, and the private sector to identify and understand environmental issues and concerns regarding the quality of water supplies in the Nation and abroad. Water-quality data are then used to determine the health of various ecosystems, including wetlands, urban landscapes, coastal environments, and watersheds. Effects of nutrient and micropollutant loading to watersheds and wetlands, habitat response to changes in infrastructure, wetlands restoration for the effects of treating urban wastewater, and toxicity in waters affected by urban runoff are some of the more recent projects undertaken by the NYWSC with State and local cooperators.

Filter Total Items: 46
Date published: May 14, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrologic Monitoring in the Central Pine Barrens

The Long Island Central Pine Barrens (CPB) is a large, preserved region of pristine ecological habitat located in eastern parts of Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. The 105,000-acre CPB encompasses portions of the Towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Southampton, and is a core part of the larger Long Island Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve (fig. 1). The CPB overlies portions of Long Island’s...

Contacts: Irene J Fisher
Date published: April 19, 2018
Status: Active

Current Water Conditions in New York

Current Water Conditions ("Real-time") in New York

• National Water Information System (NWIS):   Find water-resources data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites, using menu-based and map-based front ends.
• WaterWatch:  View maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and...

Date published: January 26, 2018
Status: Active

Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring

Relatively little data describing the quality of groundwater in New York State exist, yet groundwater is used as a source of drinking water by approximately one quarter of the population of the state. The objective of the 305(b) groundwater quality monitoring project is to quantify and report on ambient groundwater quality from bedrock and glacial-drift aquifers in upstate New York.


Date published: October 19, 2017
Status: Active

A Comprehensive Water Resources Monitoring Program for the Central Pine Barrens Region, Suffolk County, New York

Problem Statement The sustainability of natural resources in the Pine Barrens region of Suffolk County, N.Y., is a concern for the Central Pine Barrens (CPB) Joint Planning and Policy Commission. The effects of development within and surrounding the Pine Barrens region present a risk to the quality and quantity of ground and surface water in this sensitive ecosystem. Development in the area...

Date published: August 29, 2017
Status: Active

Mohawk River Basin Water Quality

Elevated levels of nutrients (for example, phosphorus) in the Mohawk River can lead to eutrophication and potentially toxic blue-green algal blooms. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) collected nutrient samples and measured streamflow in the Mohawk River. These data are being used to develop a water-quality...

Date published: July 4, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater Sample Collection Methods

Collecting groundwater samples from a typical homeowner well...

Date published: June 9, 2017
Status: Active

Responses of fish assemblages to changing environmental conditions in the Neversink River and Rondout Creek

Problem The Neversink River and Rondout Creek are historic trout fishing and recreational streams in the heart of the Catskill Mountains of southeastern NY. Waters throughout upper reaches of both rivers currently range from neutral to severely acidic due to deposition of acid rain throughout their watersheds. Fish surveys conducted by the USGS during the late 1980s and early 1990s found that...

Contacts: Barry P Baldigo
Date published: June 7, 2017

Long Island Topography

The present landforms of Long Island are the result of many geologic processes, some of which began many millions of years ago and some of which began only recently. Most of the major features of the present-day topography, however, are related to the last glaciation, which ended approximately 22,000 years ago.

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: June 6, 2017

Long Island Population

About 7.56 million people lived on Long Island in 2010. Of these, about 2.50 million are in Kings County, 2.23 million in Queens County, 1.34 million in Nassau County, and 1.49 million in Suffolk County.

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: June 5, 2017

Long Island Land Use and Land Cover

On Long Island, land use includes the human activities and management practices for which land is used. Land cover is a mosaic of developed, forest, agriculture, and wetlands areas. Both land use and land cover are usually discussed in similar environments. The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive LANDSAT-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation....

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: June 4, 2017

Long Island Freshwater

Long Island is surrounded by an almost limitless amount of saltwater in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Long Island Sound, and in the many bays bordering Long Island. Although the salty water is important to the economy of the area and is of significant recreational value, this website is mainly concerned with the fresh water of Long Island, which from many standpoints, is even more important than...

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: May 30, 2017

Long Island Hydrogeologic Units

Long Island’s aquifer system consists of a seaward-dipping wedge of mostly unconsolidated stratified sediments comprised of sand, gravel, silt and clay.

Contacts: Jack Monti