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Washington Water Science Center

This is your direct link to all kinds of water resource information. Here you'll find information on Washington's rivers and streams. You'll also find information about groundwater, water quality, and many other topics. The USGS operates the most extensive satellite network of stream-gaging stations in the state, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems.

News

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USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

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Lending a Hand During COVID-19: Maintaining a Streamgage on the Canadian Border

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FLOwPER User’s Guide—For Collection of FLOw PERmanence Field Observations

Publications

Bedload and suspended-sediment transport in lower Vance Creek, western Washington, water years 2019–20

Vance Creek drains a 24 square mile area of the Olympic Mountains in western Washington. The lower 4 miles of the creek often go dry in discontinuous patches during the summer, limiting salmon rearing success. To better understand sediment transport dynamics in the creek and aid in potential restoration design, bedload and suspended-sediment concentration samples were collected for water years 201

Thermal heterogeneity and cold-water anomalies within the lower Yakima River, Yakima and Benton Counties, Washington

Warm water temperatures in the lower Yakima River in central Washington are key limitations to the restoration of Pacific salmon (Onchorhynchus spp.) populations within the Yakima River Basin. Identification of the location and magnitude of cold-water anomalies, which are cooler than ambient river temperatures during summer months, and the processes that create and maintain them is needed to infor

Substrate particle-size distribution, dissolved-oxygen concentrations, sediment temperatures, and groundwater/surface-water exchange in shoreline spawning habitat of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) of Lake Ozette, Western Washington

Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) spawn at beaches along Lake Ozette’s shoreline and within its tributary streams including Umbrella Creek and Big River in western Washington. The tributary-spawning aggregate of the Lake Ozette sockeye salmon population has been increasing from very low abundance through hatchery supplementation, but the beach-spawning aggregate has decreased from the early 20th

Science

Puget Sound, WA Nutrient SPARROW Model

The Issue: Puget Sound watershed nutrient loads are known to have an impact on marine water quality along with wastewater treatment plants discharging to Puget Sound. To effectively reduce and control nutrient loads to the Sound, the Washington State Department of Ecology needs a regional watershed model that fits within their Puget Sound Nutrient Source Reduction Project’s management framework...
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Puget Sound, WA Nutrient SPARROW Model

The Issue: Puget Sound watershed nutrient loads are known to have an impact on marine water quality along with wastewater treatment plants discharging to Puget Sound. To effectively reduce and control nutrient loads to the Sound, the Washington State Department of Ecology needs a regional watershed model that fits within their Puget Sound Nutrient Source Reduction Project’s management framework...
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Analysis of USGS Surface Water Monitoring Networks

The issue: National interests in water information are important but challenging to incorporate into planning and operation of a monitoring network driven by local information needs. These interests include an understanding of the spatial variability in water availability across the United States, anthro-physical factors including climate and land use that affect water availability, and federal...
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Analysis of USGS Surface Water Monitoring Networks

The issue: National interests in water information are important but challenging to incorporate into planning and operation of a monitoring network driven by local information needs. These interests include an understanding of the spatial variability in water availability across the United States, anthro-physical factors including climate and land use that affect water availability, and federal...
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Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound

A Pacific Northwest icon, Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the United States. Its unique geology, climate, and nutrient-rich waters produce and sustain biologically productive coastal habitats. These same natural characteristics also contribute to a high quality of life that has led to growth in human population and urbanization. This growth has played a role in degrading the Sound...
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Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound

A Pacific Northwest icon, Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the United States. Its unique geology, climate, and nutrient-rich waters produce and sustain biologically productive coastal habitats. These same natural characteristics also contribute to a high quality of life that has led to growth in human population and urbanization. This growth has played a role in degrading the Sound...
Learn More