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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 streamgaging stations in the state, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems.

News

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Uncrewed Aviation Systems (UAS) Training Interest Survey

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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

Publications

Streamflow permanence in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

IntroductionStreams that flow throughout summer (“permanent” streams) provide critical habitat for aquatic species and serve as an important water supply. Streams that go dry seasonally or only flow after rainfall or snowmelt are a natural feature of mountain systems, including Mount Rainier National Park. However, in years with substantially less than normal snowfall, like 2015, more streams go d
Authors
Kristin Jaeger

Prediction of the probability of elevated nitrate concentrations at groundwater depths used for drinking-water supply in the Puget Sound basin, Washington, 2004–19

The Puget Sound basin encompasses the 13,700-square-mile area that drains to the Puget Sound and the adjacent marine waters of Washington State. Well more than 4 million people live within the basin, with numbers continuing to increase, who rely on the basin’s natural resources including groundwater. The Puget Sound Partnership was created by a Washington State statute to implement a science-based
Authors
Robert W. Black, Elise E. Wright, Valerie A.L. Bright, Alex O. Headman

A general approach for evaluating of the coverage, resolution, and representation of streamflow monitoring networks

Streamflow monitoring networks provide information for a wide range of public interests in river and streams. A general approach to evaluate monitoring for different interests is developed to support network planning and design. The approach defines three theoretically distinct information metrics (coverage, resolution, and representation) based on the spatial distribution of a variable of interes
Authors
Christopher Konrad, Scott W. Anderson

Science

Osoyoos Ice Jam

The Issue: Ice jams can occur at the outlet of Osoyoos Lake on the border of Canada and the United States, resulting in a decrease or complete interruption in streamflow on the Okanogan River. These ice jams appear to be occurring at a greater frequency than they have in the past and interruptions in streamflow can hinder the passage of anadromous fish and impact downstream water rights and water...
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Osoyoos Ice Jam

The Issue: Ice jams can occur at the outlet of Osoyoos Lake on the border of Canada and the United States, resulting in a decrease or complete interruption in streamflow on the Okanogan River. These ice jams appear to be occurring at a greater frequency than they have in the past and interruptions in streamflow can hinder the passage of anadromous fish and impact downstream water rights and water...
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Bolt Creek Wildfire Sediment Runoff and Water Quality

The Issue: Scientists and water-resource managers recognize the increasing impact of wildfires on water supply in the western U.S. The increasing frequency and severity of wildfires are linked to changes in snowpack, warmer temperatures, and drought. Sedimentation following wildfire can impact aquatic habitat, reservoir storage capacity, water quality, and thus public drinking water supplies...
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Bolt Creek Wildfire Sediment Runoff and Water Quality

The Issue: Scientists and water-resource managers recognize the increasing impact of wildfires on water supply in the western U.S. The increasing frequency and severity of wildfires are linked to changes in snowpack, warmer temperatures, and drought. Sedimentation following wildfire can impact aquatic habitat, reservoir storage capacity, water quality, and thus public drinking water supplies...
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Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM)

The issue: Stormwater runoff often carries pollutants that degrade water quality in receiving waters. A regional-scale monitoring program is necessary to objectively measure and track progress in reducing stormwater impacts on environmental health. How USGS will help: Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are monitoring water quality and watershed health for urban and urbanizing areas...
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Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM)

The issue: Stormwater runoff often carries pollutants that degrade water quality in receiving waters. A regional-scale monitoring program is necessary to objectively measure and track progress in reducing stormwater impacts on environmental health. How USGS will help: Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are monitoring water quality and watershed health for urban and urbanizing areas...
Learn More