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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

High resolution spatiotemporal patterns of flow at the landscape scale in montane non-perennial streams

Intermittent and ephemeral streams in dryland environments support diverse assemblages of aquatic and terrestrial life. Understanding when and where water flows provide insights into the availability of water, its response to external controlling factors, and potential sensitivity to climate change and a host of human activities. Knowledge regarding the timing of drying/wetting cycles can also be

Groundwater and surface-water data collection for the Walla Walla River Basin, Washington, 2018–22

The semi-arid Walla Walla River Basin (WWRB) spans 1777 square miles in the states of Washington and Oregon and supports a diverse agricultural region as well as cities and rural communities that are partially reliant on groundwater. Historically, surface water and groundwater data have been collected in the WWRB by several entities including federal, state, local, and tribal governments; irrigati

How does precipitation variability control bedload response across a mountainous channel network in a maritime climate?

Modeled stream discharge is often used to drive sediment transport models across channel networks. Because sediment transport varies non-linearly with flow rates, discharge modeled from daily total precipitation distributed evenly over 24-hrs may significantly underestimate actual bedload transport capacity. In this study, we assume bedload transport capacity determined from a hydrograph resulting

Science

Updated classifications of flow permanence on streams in the Colville National Forest

The Issue: Streamflow permanence refers to the probability that a stream will lose surface flow (become a dry channel), as well as the timing, duration, and frequency of drying. Patterns of streamflow permanence drive important decisions regarding forest management and other land uses. The Colville National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (2019), for example, specifies riparian management...
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Updated classifications of flow permanence on streams in the Colville National Forest

The Issue: Streamflow permanence refers to the probability that a stream will lose surface flow (become a dry channel), as well as the timing, duration, and frequency of drying. Patterns of streamflow permanence drive important decisions regarding forest management and other land uses. The Colville National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (2019), for example, specifies riparian management...
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Quillayute River Temperature

The Issue: The Quillayute River supports habitat for migrating, spawning, and rearing steelhead and salmon. All six miles of the river are influenced by tides, which influence its stage, discharge, and exchange with groundwater. The Quillayute River, like many salmonid-bearing rivers in the Pacific Northwest, is projected to warm in the coming decades due to projected increases in atmospheric...
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Quillayute River Temperature

The Issue: The Quillayute River supports habitat for migrating, spawning, and rearing steelhead and salmon. All six miles of the river are influenced by tides, which influence its stage, discharge, and exchange with groundwater. The Quillayute River, like many salmonid-bearing rivers in the Pacific Northwest, is projected to warm in the coming decades due to projected increases in atmospheric...
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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...
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