Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center

Groundwater and Springs

As the Texas population grows, demands on groundwater resources for drinking water, agriculture, and energy development are increasing throughout the State. In addition, groundwater sustains spring discharge and streamflow throughout Texas and thus plays a crucial role in maintaining surface-water resources and healthy ecosystems.

The USGS Texas Water Science Center collects and analyzes a wide range of scientific data pertaining to groundwater.  This research provides water managers with scientific information they need to effectively manage groundwater resources.  


Groundwater and Springs Overview
These overviews summarize the science, capabilities, and research activities for each topic.
  Hydrogeology Overview
  Subsidence Overview
  Surface-Water and Groundwater Interaction Overview



  Find out more about TXWSC groundwater science and karst science expertise in these printable information sheets.

Filter Total Items: 26
Date published: September 23, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership - Edwards Aquifer Recharge in a Developing Landscape

San Antonio Texas consistently ranks as one of the fastest growing large cities in the United States. Urban development can affect groundwater quality as trees and open space are replaced by buildings and roads, increasing the amount of urban runoff draining directly into the Edwards aquifer. A network of sophisticated surface water and groundwater monitoring sites is being used to help...

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership - Suspended Sediment and Nutrient Delivery to the Gulf of Mexico

Suspended sediment and nutrients from greater San Antonio can affect instream ecological health of the San Antonio River and ultimately impact Gulf of Mexico bays and estuaries. Real-time monitoring in urban and rural parts of the river basin may provide a glimpse into the importance of urban sediment and nutrient sources. Real-time sensors provide a tool to better understand and manage water...

Date published: August 14, 2018
Status: Active

National Water-Quality Assessment Project in Texas - Groundwater Activities

The USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project was established by Congress in 1992 to answer the following question:

What is the status of the Nation’s water quality and is it getting better or worse?

Since 1992, NAWQA has been a primary source of nationally consistent data and information on the quality of the Nation’s streams and groundwater. Data and...

Date published: August 2, 2018
Status: Active

Streamflow and Springflow at Comal and San Marcos River

The Comal and San Marcos Springs are the largest major springs in the San Antonio segment of the Edwards Aquifer in central Texas, and among the largest springs in the southwestern US. The Comal springs network in New Braunfels includes 9 main springs and hundreds of smaller springs, many located under Landa Lake. Likewise, the San Marcos springs network in San Marcos is made up of hundreds of...

Date published: July 17, 2018
Status: Active

Estimating Potential Effects on Streamflow from Nearby Wells in the Lower San Antonio River Basin

The USGS Texas Water Science Center (TXWSC) developed a groundwater-flow model to estimate the potential for streamflow depletion in the Lower San Antonio River based on changes in groundwater pumping in the watershed. Results from the project can be used by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) to better understand aquifer interactions with the river and potential groundwater pumping effects...

Contacts: Linzy Foster
Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

Texas Gulf Coast Groundwater and Land Subsidence Program

The Texas Gulf Coast Groundwater and Land Subsidence Program web application illustrates how groundwater, sediment compaction, and land-elevation change are related in the Houston-Galveston region in Texas. The new app was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Texas Water Science Center and is available at https://txpub.usgs...

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active


GWWebFlow is a browser-based groundwater model viewer designed to allow users to easily explore model inputs and outputs for published and approved USGS models. It currently supports the MODFLOW family of models, including MODFLOW2005, MODFLOW-NWT, MT3DMS and SEAWAT.

Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Upper Rio Grande Basin Focus Area Study

USGS is undertaking a 3-year study of water use, availability, and change in the Upper Rio Grande Basin in one of several national “Focus Area Studies” in the Department of Interior’s WaterSMART initiative. The Upper Rio Grande study area runs 670 miles from its headwaters in Colorado through New Mexico and northern Mexico to Ft....

Contacts: Natalie Houston
Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP)

Many communities along the U.S.-Mexico border have limited surface water supply and rely on transboundary aquifers for industry, agriculture, and drinking water; however, information on water needs, water quality, and the extent and functioning of these aquifers is incomplete.

The Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP), established through a binational agreement between the...

Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone Surface-water and Groundwater Interaction

The effects of urbanization across the recharge zone in Bexar County and potential impact on the water quality in the Edwards aquifer is a topic of specific concern for the City of San Antonio. The USGS Texas Water Science Center is simultaneously collecting water-quality data from surface-water runoff sites and paired shallow groundwater wells within the recharge zone of the Edwards aquifer...

Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Investigation of Preferential Groundwater Seepage in the Ellenburger – San Saba Aquifer Using Geoelectric Measurements

The USGS Texas Water Science Center (TXWSC) is completing a geophysical pilot study adjacent to Hamilton Creek in Burnet County, central Texas.  The pilot study is intended to test whether electrical geophysical methods can provide information regarding the locations of dissolution cavities and preferential groundwater flow within in the Ellenburger San-Saba aquifer.  Data from this study will...

Contacts: Scott Ikard