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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

USGS Firelight: PHIRE Edition - Vol. 2 | Issue 2

Uncrewed Aviation Systems (UAS) Training Interest Survey

Uncrewed Aviation Systems (UAS) Training Interest Survey

USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

Publications

Taking heat (downstream): Simulating groundwater and thermal equilibrium controls on annual paired air–water temperature signal transport in headwater streams

Headwater stream temperature often exhibits spatial variation at the kilometer-scale, but the relative importance of the underlying hydrogeological processes and riverine perturbations remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the relative importance of groundwater (GW) and other processes on downstream annual stream temperature signal characteristics using deterministic heat budge
Authors
Zachary Johnson, Martin Briggs, Craig D. Snyder, Brittany G. Johnson, Nathaniel P. Hitt

A conceptual site model of contaminant transport pathways from the Bremerton Naval Complex to Sinclair Inlet, Washington, 2011–21

Historical activities on the Bremerton Naval Complex (BNC) in Puget Sound, Washington, have resulted in Sinclair Inlet sediments with elevated concentrations of contaminants, including organic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and trace elements including mercury. Six U.S. Geological Survey–U.S. Navy datasets have been collected since the last major assessment, in 2013, of soil and gr
Authors
Kathleen E. Conn, Sarah E. Janssen, Chad C. Opatz, Valerie A.L. Bright

Evaluation of groundwater resources in the Upper White River Basin within Mount Rainier National Park, Washington state, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Park Service, investigated groundwater gains and losses on the upper White River within Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. This investigation was conducted using stream discharge measurements at 14 locations within 7 reaches over a 6.5-mile river length from near the White River’s origin at the terminus of the Emmons Glaci
Authors
Leland T. Fuhrig, Andrew J. Long, Alexander O. Headman

Science

Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Hoh geomorphology

The Issue: Glaciers in the Hoh River watershed are expected to largely disappear by 2050, while flooding is expected to become more intense. Understanding if or how this will impact sediment transport and channel change in the watershed is relevant for salmon habitat, restoration efforts, and flood hazard management. However, there is relatively little information about historical channel...
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Hoh geomorphology

The Issue: Glaciers in the Hoh River watershed are expected to largely disappear by 2050, while flooding is expected to become more intense. Understanding if or how this will impact sediment transport and channel change in the watershed is relevant for salmon habitat, restoration efforts, and flood hazard management. However, there is relatively little information about historical channel...
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Nooksack geomorphology

The Issue: Changes in channel geometry in the Nooksack River can reduce flood conveyance capacity, and so increase local flood hazards. Near Everson, WA, sand and gravel accumulations have increased the likelihood that major floods will spill overbank, sending water north over a low drainage divide where it may cause substantial damage to communities in both Washington and British Columbia. Major...
link

Nooksack geomorphology

The Issue: Changes in channel geometry in the Nooksack River can reduce flood conveyance capacity, and so increase local flood hazards. Near Everson, WA, sand and gravel accumulations have increased the likelihood that major floods will spill overbank, sending water north over a low drainage divide where it may cause substantial damage to communities in both Washington and British Columbia. Major...
Learn More