Oregon Water Science Center

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Welcome to the USGS in Oregon. Our mission is to explore the natural world around us and provide reliable scientific information to help Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribes, and the public make well-informed decisions. Our research is widely used to manage Oregon's water resources for the benefit and safety of people and the environment. 

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Current Stream Conditions

Current Stream Conditions

See what is happening in streams near you. View real-time stream data for streams around Oregon.

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Weekly Science Seminar

Weekly Science Seminar

Our lunchtime seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm and are open to the public.

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News

Date published: January 5, 2021

USGS Measures the Effect of Recent Wildfires on Water Quality in Oregon

Some of the intense wildfires that occurred during late summer of 2020 in Oregon happened along streams that were being monitored by the USGS. As a result, the USGS was able to measure how water-quality was affected by those wildfires.

Date published: December 1, 2020

"Legacy nitrogen" contributing to upward nitrate trends in streams

Despite the tremendous effort invested in reducing the use of nitrogen, widespread decreases in nitrate loads in US rivers and streams remain elusive—what gives? A new study from the USGS provides more evidence that the culprit is the slow release to streams of nitrogen that has accumulated in groundwater and other...

Date published: November 6, 2020

Potential Burrowing Habitat for Lamprey Larvae in the Umpqua River Basin, Oregon

Lampreys in the Umpqua River basin face multiple threats, including predation by nonnative fish such as smallmouth bass.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Documentation of methods and inventory of irrigation information collected for the 2015 U.S. Geological Survey estimated use of water in the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Use Science Project strives to report water-use estimates using the best available information for the period of the estimates. The information available on water used for irrigation activities varies from State to State and in some areas from county to county within a State, which results in many...

Painter, Jaime A.; Brandt, Justin T.; Caldwell, Rodney R.; Haynes, Jonathan V.; Read, Amy L.
Painter, J.A., Brandt, J.T., Caldwell, R.R., Haynes, J.V., and Read, A.L., 2021, Documentation of methods and inventory of irrigation information collected for the 2015 U.S. Geological Survey estimated use of water in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5139, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205139.

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Year Published: 2021

Modeling water temperature response to dam operations and water management in Green Peter and Foster Lakes and the South Santiam River, Oregon

Significant FindingsGreen Peter and Foster Dams have altered natural seasonal temperature patterns in the South and Middle Santiam Rivers of the Willamette River Basin in northwestern Oregon. Cold-water releases from Green Peter Dam, upstream of Foster Lake, contribute to the cool-water conditions at Foster Dam. In summer, unseasonably cold water...

Sullivan, Annett B.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Sullivan, A.B., and Rounds, S.A., 2021, Modeling water temperature response to dam operations and water management in Green Peter and Foster Lakes and the South Santiam River, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5145, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205145.

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Year Published: 2021

Multi-region assessment of chemical mixture exposures and predicted cumulative effects in USA wadeable urban/agriculture-gradient streams

Chemical-contaminant mixtures are widely reported in large stream reaches in urban/agriculture-developed watersheds, but mixture compositions and aggregate biological effects are less well understood in corresponding smaller headwaters, which comprise most of stream length, riparian connectivity, and spatial biodiversity. During 2014–2017,...

Bradley, Paul; Journey, Celeste A.; Romanok, Kristin; Breitmeyer, Sara; Button, Daniel T.; Carlisle, Daren; Huffman, Bradley; Mahler, Barbara; Nowell, Lisa H.; Qi, Sharon L.; Smalling, Kelly; Waite, Ian R.; Van Metre, Peter C.