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Science

The Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center conducts research and monitoring on a wide variety of hydrological issues affecting streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and groundwater in Wyoming and Montana, and across the Nation.

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Streamflow and Groundwater Availability

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Water Quality

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Floods and Droughts

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Aquatic Biology

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Geospatial Analyses to Understand Hydrologic Systems

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Sediment

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Water Use

FAQs

What is the Earth's "water cycle?"

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water as it makes a circuit from the oceans to the atmosphere to the Earth and on again. Most of Earth's water is in the oceans. The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates as vapor into the air. Rising vapor cools and condenses into clouds. Cloud particles grow and...

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What is the Earth's "water cycle?"

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water as it makes a circuit from the oceans to the atmosphere to the Earth and on again. Most of Earth's water is in the oceans. The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates as vapor into the air. Rising vapor cools and condenses into clouds. Cloud particles grow and...

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How much of the Earth's water is stored in glaciers?

About 2.1% of all of Earth's water is frozen in glaciers. 97.2% is in the oceans and inland seas 2.1% is in glaciers 0.6% is in groundwater and soil moisture less than 1% is in the atmosphere less than 1% is in lakes and rivers less than 1% is in all living plants and animals. About three-quarters of Earth's freshwater is stored in glaciers. Therefore, glacier ice is the second largest reservoir...

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How much of the Earth's water is stored in glaciers?

About 2.1% of all of Earth's water is frozen in glaciers. 97.2% is in the oceans and inland seas 2.1% is in glaciers 0.6% is in groundwater and soil moisture less than 1% is in the atmosphere less than 1% is in lakes and rivers less than 1% is in all living plants and animals. About three-quarters of Earth's freshwater is stored in glaciers. Therefore, glacier ice is the second largest reservoir...

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How important is groundwater?

Groundwater, which is in aquifers below the surface of the Earth, is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. Groundwater is the source of about 37 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them from...

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How important is groundwater?

Groundwater, which is in aquifers below the surface of the Earth, is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. Groundwater is the source of about 37 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them from...

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Education

From Gage to Page: A Look Into How USGS Helps You Know the Flow

Knowing the streamflow of a river is important for many. For example, irrigators need to know how the water can be allocated to fields, boaters need to know if the river is safe to float, and municipalities need to know how much supply will be at their intakes.

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From Gage to Page: A Look Into How USGS Helps You Know the Flow

Knowing the streamflow of a river is important for many. For example, irrigators need to know how the water can be allocated to fields, boaters need to know if the river is safe to float, and municipalities need to know how much supply will be at their intakes.

Learn More

Establishing a Streamgage

Streamgages are structures that house equipment that measures and records stream stage and other parameters before transmitting that data to centralized computers via satellites.

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Establishing a Streamgage

Streamgages are structures that house equipment that measures and records stream stage and other parameters before transmitting that data to centralized computers via satellites.

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Measuring Streamflow

Accurately measuring streamflow at each visit to the site is critical to streamgaging. The correct equipment for each stream during different seasons ensures the highest quality data are collected each time.

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Measuring Streamflow

Accurately measuring streamflow at each visit to the site is critical to streamgaging. The correct equipment for each stream during different seasons ensures the highest quality data are collected each time.

Learn More