Upper Midwest Water Science Center

Water Sustainability

There are two primary sources of water: surface waters (rivers and lakes, including the Great Lakes) and groundwater aquifers. Both sources provide for a variety of uses, including residential, business, industry, agriculture, energy production, mining, and recreation. The Upper Midwest Water Science Center collects basic hydrological data and conducts studies to understand how much water is currently available, how surface water and groundwater interact and affect availability, the rate at which we are using our water resources, and to forecast how much water will be available in the future.

Filter Total Items: 57
Date published: August 20, 2019
Status: Active

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Watercourse Corridor Study

Since 2000, the USGS and MMSD have been partners in the Milwaukee Area Watercourse Corridor Study. The USGS applied a multi-disciplinary approach to monitor and assess stream water quality within studies of aquatic communities, geomorphology and habitat, water and sediment, and streamflow. Results are provided to MMSD and watershed management agencies for planning and decision-making.

Contacts: Steven R Corsi
Date published: April 16, 2019
Status: Active

Lake monitoring and research

Studying lakes provides an improved understanding of lake ecosystem dynamics and valuable information that helps lead to sound lake-management policies. The USGS collects hydrologic data in lake settings, studies water and nutrient budget development, conducts source-loading analysis, explores groundwater interactions, and performs lake water-quality modeling.

Date published: April 15, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater monitoring and research

Groundwater is an important water resource. The USGS collects information on the quality and quantity of groundwater and conducts advanced modeling of groundwater flow and groundwater/surface-water systems. The USGS also evaluates the effects of water-use, land-use, and climate change on groundwater, surface-water, and the ecosystems that rely on them.

Date published: April 14, 2019
Status: Active

GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring

The GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring effort brings together the expertise of the USGS with local and national partners to assess the ability of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in Great Lakes urban areas.

Date published: April 13, 2019
Status: Active

Ecoflows: Developing Indices of Streamflow Alteration

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) lists streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life in many watersheds. However, the MPCA currently does not have the information needed to quantitatively associate metrics from Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) surveys with metrics of streamflow alteration.  We are using USGS streamgage data and MPCA IBI data to develop relations...

Contacts: Jeffrey Ziegeweid, Aliesha L Krall, Greg Johnson, Kara Fitzpatrick
Date published: April 5, 2019
Status: Active

MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study: Continuous Real-Time Streamflow

The MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study supports seven USGS streamflow gages on Milwaukee-area streams that measure real-time discharge and gage height. A few sites also support time lapse site videos.

Date published: April 5, 2019
Status: Active

Development of a FluEgg Model for the St. Croix River

The USGS partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to collect hydraulic and water chemistry data in the lower St. Croix River for development of a model that predicts the probability of successful egg hatching and survival of juvenile invasive carp over a range of water temperature and streamflow conditions.

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

Monitoring and predicting the impacts of trees on urban stormwater volume reduction

Much has been learned about how effectively individual green infrastructure practices can reduce stormwater volume, however, the role of urban trees in stormwater detention is poorly understood. This study will quantify the effect of tree removal on the urban hydrologic cycle and measure the impact that trees have on stormwater runoff volume.

Contacts: William R Selbig, Steve Loheid, Bill Shuster, Dave Nowak
Date published: April 2, 2019
Status: Active

Arsenic in Minnesota groundwater—Occurrence and relation to hydrogeologic and geochemical factors

Geologic-sourced arsenic is common in Minnesota groundwater. Drinking-water managers, well owners, and well contractors need to know where and why high arsenic in groundwater is likely to occur in wells in order to take measures to protect public health. The USGS is assessing the spatial distribution of high arsenic groundwater in Minnesota, and identifying factors affecting arsenic...

Contacts: Melinda L Erickson, Ph.D., P.E., Emily Berquist, P.G.
Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Active

Impacts of agricultural drainage on groundwater recharge

Artificial subsurface drainage is being increasingly utilized on agricultural land in southeast Minnesota. This region is underlain by thinner glacial deposits than are found in the historically drained areas of the State. Due to these thinner deposits, drainage in this area may have a greater impact on recharge to the underlying bedrock aquifers, a critical resource to the region.

Date published: March 31, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing Hydrologic Changes in the St. Louis River Basin from Past Land Uses

Resource managers can use assessments of past and future land use to make science-based decisions.  This project characterizes how changes in land use can change groundwater and surface-water flows in the St. Louis River Basin, MN. The USGS is constructing a set of groundwater models to simulate groundwater/surface-water interactions and evaluate how water flows have changed.

Contacts: Timothy K Cowdery, Nancy Schuldt
Date published: March 30, 2019
Status: Active

Fluvial geomorphology studies

Fluvial geomorphology studies provide an understanding of the physical processes responsible for shaping the character of streams and their riparian zones across both glaciatied and unglaciated regions of Wisconsin and the midwestern U.S.