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Surface Water

An important part of the USGS mission is to collect scientific data about the nation's water resources. Streamflows (discharge) are one of the most fundamental components needed. To continually assess the nation's surface-water resources, the USGS operates and maintains a vast network of real-time streamgages throughout the country. The USGS also monitors lakes and rese

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New study confirms loss of storage capacity in Lake Powell

Beginning in 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, completed topobathymetric surveys of Lake Powell for the first update of elevation-area-capacity relationships since 1986. The recent report presents results of these surveys and comparisons with estimates from previous surveys. Current storage capacity at full pool (3702.91 feet above NAVD 88) is 25,160...
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New study confirms loss of storage capacity in Lake Powell

Beginning in 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, completed topobathymetric surveys of Lake Powell for the first update of elevation-area-capacity relationships since 1986. The recent report presents results of these surveys and comparisons with estimates from previous surveys. Current storage capacity at full pool (3702.91 feet above NAVD 88) is 25,160...
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Great Salt Lake General Information, Facts, News, Publications and Partners

In July 2021, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake reached a new historic low, with average daily water levels dropping about an inch below the previous record set in 1963, according to U.S. Geological Survey information collected at the SaltAir gage. -Find all news releases associated with the Great Salt Lake from the News Tab at the top of this page.
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Great Salt Lake General Information, Facts, News, Publications and Partners

In July 2021, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake reached a new historic low, with average daily water levels dropping about an inch below the previous record set in 1963, according to U.S. Geological Survey information collected at the SaltAir gage. -Find all news releases associated with the Great Salt Lake from the News Tab at the top of this page.
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Bear Lake Water Quality

Bear Lake, located approximately 50 kilometers (km) northeast of Logan, Utah, straddles the Utah-Idaho border and is nestled in a graben valley between the Bear Lake Plateau on the east and the Bear River Range on the west (Reheis and others, 2009). Its calcium carbonate type water is a brilliant green-blue color that, in combination with sandy beaches and easy access, draws thousands of visitors...
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Bear Lake Water Quality

Bear Lake, located approximately 50 kilometers (km) northeast of Logan, Utah, straddles the Utah-Idaho border and is nestled in a graben valley between the Bear Lake Plateau on the east and the Bear River Range on the west (Reheis and others, 2009). Its calcium carbonate type water is a brilliant green-blue color that, in combination with sandy beaches and easy access, draws thousands of visitors...
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Streamflow Information Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates and maintains a national network of about 8,000 streamgages (2018) to provide long-term, accurate, and unbiased streamflow information (often called discharge) to meet the multiple needs of many diverse users. Streamflow information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and efficient and effective...
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Streamflow Information Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates and maintains a national network of about 8,000 streamgages (2018) to provide long-term, accurate, and unbiased streamflow information (often called discharge) to meet the multiple needs of many diverse users. Streamflow information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and efficient and effective...
Learn More

Upper Colorado River Streamflow and Reservoir Contents

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.
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Upper Colorado River Streamflow and Reservoir Contents

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.
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Lake Powell Coring

In response to the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine Spill from the Bonita Peak Mining District that resulted in the release of three-million gallons of mine-impacted waters, the Utah Water Science Center, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality, National Park Service, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, cored the San Juan and Colorado River deltas in multiple locations in Lake Powell...
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Lake Powell Coring

In response to the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine Spill from the Bonita Peak Mining District that resulted in the release of three-million gallons of mine-impacted waters, the Utah Water Science Center, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality, National Park Service, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, cored the San Juan and Colorado River deltas in multiple locations in Lake Powell...
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Managed Aquifer Recharge

Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated for both surface-water storage and managed aquifer recharge via infiltration from surface basin spreading to the underlying Navajo Sandstone. From 2002 through 2014, about 216,000 acre-feet were diverted from the Virgin River to Sand Hollow Reservoir, and about 127,000 acre-feet of water seeped beneath...
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Managed Aquifer Recharge

Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated for both surface-water storage and managed aquifer recharge via infiltration from surface basin spreading to the underlying Navajo Sandstone. From 2002 through 2014, about 216,000 acre-feet were diverted from the Virgin River to Sand Hollow Reservoir, and about 127,000 acre-feet of water seeped beneath...
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What is a streamgage?

Information on the flow of rivers and streams is a vital national asset that safeguuards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS operates a network of more than 9,000 streamgages nationwide with more than 150 in Utah, but how does a streamgage work? Dee Lurry of the Texas Water Science Center answers that question.
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What is a streamgage?

Information on the flow of rivers and streams is a vital national asset that safeguuards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS operates a network of more than 9,000 streamgages nationwide with more than 150 in Utah, but how does a streamgage work? Dee Lurry of the Texas Water Science Center answers that question.
Learn More

Earthshots 1972-2016: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

Dramatic changes in lake levels are observed in these images from 1972-2016. The completion of the Railroad Causeway in 1959 divided the Great Salt Lake in half. Because all of the freshwater inflows enter the southern part of the lake and evaporation is greater in the northern part, the north arm became much more saline than the south; well defined in the satellite images. Several years of...
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Earthshots 1972-2016: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

Dramatic changes in lake levels are observed in these images from 1972-2016. The completion of the Railroad Causeway in 1959 divided the Great Salt Lake in half. Because all of the freshwater inflows enter the southern part of the lake and evaporation is greater in the northern part, the north arm became much more saline than the south; well defined in the satellite images. Several years of...
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Deep Brine Layer

In 1959, a solid-fill railroad causeway was constructed across the middle of the Great Salt Lake. The construction of the causeway divided the lake into two parts; the north (Gunnison Bay) and the south (Gilbert Bay). By 2013, water flowed from one side to the other through only two culverts near the center of the causeway. In December 2013, concern about the structural integrity of the culverts...
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Deep Brine Layer

In 1959, a solid-fill railroad causeway was constructed across the middle of the Great Salt Lake. The construction of the causeway divided the lake into two parts; the north (Gunnison Bay) and the south (Gilbert Bay). By 2013, water flowed from one side to the other through only two culverts near the center of the causeway. In December 2013, concern about the structural integrity of the culverts...
Learn More