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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

Bedrock depth influences spatial patterns of summer baseflow, temperature and flow disconnection for mountainous headwater streams

In mountain headwater streams, the quality and resilience of summer cold-water habitat is generally regulated by stream discharge, longitudinal stream channel connectivity and groundwater exchange. These critical hydrologic processes are thought to be influenced by the stream corridor bedrock contact depth (sediment thickness), a parameter often inferred from sparse hillslope borehole information,

Longitudinal water-temperature profiles in Mill Creek, Mason County, Washington

In streams supporting Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) within the southern Puget Lowland, high water temperatures during late summer are a primary water-quality concern. The metabolic rates of fish and other ectothermic (in other words, cold-blooded) species are regulated by water temperature; salmon and other cold-water fish have specific thermal tolerances outside of which they are susceptible

Element concentrations and grain size of sediment from the Similkameen River above Enloe Dam (Enloe Reservoir) near Oroville, Washington, 2019

In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a reconnaissance survey of concentrations of 41 trace elements present in bed sediment in the reservoir on the Similkameen River upstream from Enloe Dam, near Oroville, Washington. The Similkameen River drains a watershed containing highly mineralized geologic deposits with current (2019) and historical mining activity. Results of this survey indicated

Science

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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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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