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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

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

Spatial and temporal controls on proglacial erosion rates: A comparison of four basins on Mount Rainier, 1960 to 2017

The retreat of alpine glaciers since the mid-19th century has triggered rapid landscape adjustments in many headwater basins. However, the degree to which decadal-scale glacier retreat is associated with systematic or substantial changes in overall coarse sediment export, with the potential to impact downstream river dynamics, remains poorly understood. Here, we use repeat topographic surveys to a

Streambed scour of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) redds in the Sauk River, Northwestern Washington

The autumn and winter flood season of western Washington coincides with the incubation period of many Pacific salmon (Onchorhynchus spp.) populations. During this period, salmon embryos incubating within gravel nests called “redds” are vulnerable to mobilization of surrounding sediment during floods. As overlying sediment is transported downstream, the vertical position of the streambed can be low

Science

Aquifer Recharge Study and Water-Budget Components of San Juan County, Washington

The Issue: San Juan County encompasses an archipelago within the Salish Sea between the southeastern end of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Skagit and Whatcom Counties on mainland western Washington. Although the year-round population is generally small (approximately 16,000 in 2010), there is an ever-growing influx of visitors to the scenic islands especially during the summer months. An...
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Aquifer Recharge Study and Water-Budget Components of San Juan County, Washington

The Issue: San Juan County encompasses an archipelago within the Salish Sea between the southeastern end of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Skagit and Whatcom Counties on mainland western Washington. Although the year-round population is generally small (approximately 16,000 in 2010), there is an ever-growing influx of visitors to the scenic islands especially during the summer months. An...
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Aquifer Recharge Area Study of Guemes Island

The Issue: Guemes Island is an 8.2-square-mile island in the northern part of Puget Sound in western Washington State. The population of the island is increasing, as is the demand for groundwater, which is the island's sole source of freshwater. Continued growth and development of the island, particularly in nearshore areas, has led to the increasing failure of nearshore wells due to seawater...
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Aquifer Recharge Area Study of Guemes Island

The Issue: Guemes Island is an 8.2-square-mile island in the northern part of Puget Sound in western Washington State. The population of the island is increasing, as is the demand for groundwater, which is the island's sole source of freshwater. Continued growth and development of the island, particularly in nearshore areas, has led to the increasing failure of nearshore wells due to seawater...
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Drought preparedness in Mt. Rainier National Park

The Issue: Water supply for park operations and backcountry users is determined by the spatial extent of perennial streams in Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). In addition, the presence or absence of streamflow (flow permanence) is related to water temperature, which influences the occurrence and distribution of aquatic species including cold-water fishes and insects. Information about the...
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Drought preparedness in Mt. Rainier National Park

The Issue: Water supply for park operations and backcountry users is determined by the spatial extent of perennial streams in Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). In addition, the presence or absence of streamflow (flow permanence) is related to water temperature, which influences the occurrence and distribution of aquatic species including cold-water fishes and insects. Information about the...
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