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The Virginia and West Virginia Water Science Center works in cooperation with many entities to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and the public for Virginia, West Virginia, and the Nation.

Where we work

Major river basins within the Virginia and West Virginia Science Center monitoring network. (Public domain)
Major Virginia and West Virginia river basins.


Our Center employs a diverse staff of scientists, technicians, and administrative professionals in multiple locations throughout Virginia and West Virginia. We have two principal offices, located in Richmond, Virginia and Charleston, West Virginia and two field offices located in Marion, Virginia, and Leetown, West Virginia (see: Office Locations). Our main offices afford us access to collaborative relationships with many federal, state, and non-government organizations and colleagues at the USGS National Center in Reston, Virginia.





Our monitoring networks

We operate and maintain extensive monitoring networks and conduct hydrologic investigations to quantify each component of the hydrologic cycle. These monitoring networks and investigative expertise enable us to address nearly any type of water-resources question or hydrologic data-collection need.


Virginia water conditions

Virginia water conditions

West Virginia water conditions

West Virginia water conditions

A wide range of scientific expertise

Specific water-resources activities are categorized into five general Science themes: water availability, water quality, biology and ecosystems, floods and droughts, and climate change. Scientific activities include interpretive studies of specific water-resources issues on a local, state, regional, and national, level as well as the operation, maintenance, and analysis of data for streams and groundwater:

Hydrologic monitoring and analysis

Top: a USGS hydrologic technician, installs a Rapid-Deployment Gage; middle: analog dial gage (left) and a digital linear potentiometer (right); bottom: USGS streamgage located on Little Back Creek, Bath, Virginia.
  • Real-time streamgage and tide network operation

  • Real-time precipitation network operation

  • Streamflow statistics

  • Hydrologic modeling

  • Flood and drought monitoring

Water-quality monitoring and analysis

  • Monitoring of diverse surface-water and groundwater environments

  • State-of-the-art measurement of a broad range of contaminants

  • Continuous water-quality monitoring

  • Load and trend analysis

  • Advanced statistical analysis and method development

Hydrogeologic monitoring and analysis

  • Groundwater-level monitoring

  • Monitoring of aquifer compaction and land subsidence

  • Groundwater modeling

  • Assessment of water availability

  • Geophysical assessment of aquifer properties and characteristics

Ecological monitoring and analysis

  • Fish and aquatic invertebrate monitoring

  • Ecotoxicological monitoring

  • Ecological streamflow assessment

Geospatial analysis

  • Geospatial modeling

  • Web-based map application development


Working with us

The role of the USGS is to provide technically sound and unbiased data and information products that describe the location, quantity, and quality of surface water and groundwater. Much of the work our Center does pertaining to water resources in Virginia and West Virginia is done in partnership with state and local entities. We work in cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, universities, water authorities, nonprofit organizations, and private entities to collect, analyze, and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information. Our funding comes from a variety of sources, to include direct Federal appropriations and other Federal agencies.

Additionally, the USGS Cooperative Matching Funds (CMF) program allows us to partially match funding with state and local agencies. The flexibility of CMF allows USGS and its partners to respond to significant or emerging water issues in a timely manner. Because consistent USGS national protocols are used to monitor and assess water resources, water data are directly comparable at the regional and national scale and water issues in a specific location, watershed, or aquifer can be compared to those in other geographic regions and across different time periods. Such comparisons allow for large-scale synthesis and problem-solving across state lines, in regional watersheds or aquifers, and nationally. CMF are also used to develop innovative approaches for monitoring, modeling, managing, and delivering water data and science to our partners, while also providing information that protects human lives and property, promotes healthy ecosystems, and supports sustainable economic development.   

Interested in working with us?

Please reach out at or visit our Connect page to see additional Center contacts.

Interested in working for us?