Virginia and West Virginia Water Science Center

Water Availability

We measure, analyze, and evaluate changes in surface water and groundwater quantities, providing information essential to human-health and safety, residential, business, transportation, industrial, agricultural, energy, mining, and recreational uses, and our understanding of the natural world.

Filter Total Items: 32
Date published: April 25, 2019
Status: Active

River Continuum Concept Ecological Limit Functions for Fish and Benthic Data in Virginia

The ecological limit functions (ELF) developed in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are a graphical representation of the current and historical state of aquatic biota in Virginia streams.  The goal of this study was to quantify the potential species richness and habitat response to flow alteration using available long-term ecological data. Fish and...

Contacts: Jennifer L Rapp, Robert Burgholzer, Joseph Kleiner
Date published: May 7, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring Land-Surface Deformation in the Virginia Coastal Plain

Land-surface deformation in eastern Virginia is being monitored to evaluate effects of groundwater pumping and wastewater injection on land-surface movement and relative sea-level rise.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Water-Monitoring-Sites in Virginia and West Virginia

The Water-Monitoring-Site Mapper is an interactive map of Virginia and West Virginia water-monitoring-site locations from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). View and download surface water, groundwater, and water quality monitoring data for active sites. Functionality includes query, select, tabular display by county...

Date published: October 21, 2017
Status: Active

Modeling summer month hydrological drought probabilities in the United States using antecedent flow conditions

Climate change raises concern that risks of hydrological drought may be increasing. We estimate hydrological drought probabilities for rivers and streams in the United States (U.S.) using maximum likelihood logistic regression (MLLR). Streamflow data from winter months are used to estimate the chance of hydrological drought during summer months. Daily streamflow data collected from 9,144...

Date published: June 13, 2017
Status: Active

Improving Time of Concentration Estimates for Small Rural Watersheds in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, West Virginia

Many culverts and other drainage structures in rural West Virginia are located in small streams or valleys draining 100 acres or less. Design of these structures in West Virginia is generally done using discharge estimates made with widely used and well accepted methods. However, these methods require information including flow-segment length and channel geometry that are poorly characterized...

Date published: May 6, 2017
Status: Active

USGS-VDOT Bridge Scour Pilot Study

Cost effective and safe highway bridge designs are required to ensure the long-term sustainability of Virginia’s road systems. The water flows that, over time, scour streambed sediments from bridge piers inherently affect bridge safety and design costs. To ensure safety, bridge designs must anticipate streambed scour at bridge piers over the lifespan of a bridge. Until recently Federal Highway...

Contacts: Samuel H Austin, John H. Matthews, PE
Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Appalachian Plateau Groundwater Availablity Study

Pennsylvanian- and Mississippian-age aquifers occupy approximately 86,000 square-miles in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. As one of several USGS Regional Groundwater Studies, the primary goal of this study is to provide a regional understanding of groundwater flow and availability in the...

Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Fairfax County Water Resources Monitoring Network

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), with the explicit goal of improving water quality. Earlier research has demonstrated that these implemented BMPs are effective at the plot-scale and the field-scale; however, less information is available to document the effectiveness of these BMPs at the watershed scale - precisely...

Contacts: John D Jastram
Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Hydrologic and Water-Quality Factors Affecting Habitat Restoration and Management of the Great Dismal Swamp

The objectives of this study are to identify 1) the relations between water levels in the ditches and groundwater levels near the ditches and in the interior of the Blocks, 2) possible relations between groundwater levels and tree growth rates, and 3) current nutrient chemistry and possible nutrient transport pathways in these wetlands.

Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Hampton Roads Regional Water Quality Monitoring Program

In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey partnered with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) in cooperation with the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission to implement a water-quality monitoring program with the goals of (1) collecting high quality nutrient and sediment data representative of the Coastal Plain, (2) computing loads that can be compared to those developed for the...

Contacts: Aaron J Porter
Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Estimating Drought Streamflow Probabilities for Virginia Streams

Planning for drought conditions in Virginia streams is essential to the sound management of water resources and associated riparian and watershed ecosystems. Reliable estimations of the likelihood that stream flows during drought-prone months will exceed specific low-flow thresholds can provide advance warning of drought conditions, allowing extended lead times for improved drought awareness...

Contacts: Samuel H Austin
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Active

James River Research Corridor: Mountains to Sea Innovative Water Quality Network

This successful partnership brings together Randolph-Macon College (RMC), Washington and Lee University (W&L), and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in partnership with the US Geological Survey (USGS) to foster growth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through summer student internship experience, awareness of USGS science in the class room, and increased...

Contacts: Jennifer L Rapp, Douglas L Moyer, Dr. Charles Gowan , Dr. Robert Humston, Dr. Paul Bukaveckas , Dr. Greg Garman