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Water information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and effective management of the Nation’s water resources. The USGS works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and wateruse and availability.
Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.Read Science Plan
The USGS partners with local, state, and other federal agencies through cooperative agreements for a variety of reasons. The USGS and partners jointly plan the scientific work conducted under cooperative agreements resulting in science that has broad relevance to address current water issues. Partners choose...
The USGS Mine Drainage Activities website promoted communication, cooperation, and collaboration among interdisciplinary USGS scientists working on problems related to mining and the environment. It contains catalogs of past mining-related rpojects, activities, and publications.
Deaths of young-of-year smallmouth bass in the Chesapeake Bay drainage has been noted since 2005. Studies of affected fish have found bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Mixed infections suggest these fish are immunosuppressed. Understanding the role of specific pathogens and environmental factors that contribute to their presence is important but equally important is the understanding...
The clams Potamocorbula amurensis and Corbicula fluminea were collected at a variety of sites in the San Francisco Bay/ Delta beginning July 1990 and ending February 2010. These invasive species were used as biosentinels of the fate, transport, and effects of trace metals in the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.
Environmental sources of selenium (Se) such as from organic-enriched sedimentary deposits are geologic in nature and thus can occur on regional scales. A constructed map of the global distribution of Se source rocks informs potential areas of reconnaissance for modeling of Se risk including the phosphate deposits of southeastern Idaho and the coals of Appalachia.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta receives selenium (Se) internally from oil refineries and externally through riverine agricultural discharges. Predator species considered at risk from Se consume the estuary’s dominant bivalve, C. amurensis, an efficient bioaccumulator of Se. Modeling predicts site-specific ecological risk and derives a range of protective Se concentrations for use by decision-...
Adverse effects of selenium (Se) on fish and waterfowl in wetlands receiving agricultural drainage occurred in the 1980s in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The identified mechanisms of Se enrichment helped resolve Se toxicity problems associated with irrigated agriculture in the arid West. Bioaccumulation of Se in ancient marine sediments is postulated as a primary pathway in source...
Selenium (Se) as a contaminant of ecosystems is bioaccumulative and causes reproductive effects in fish and wildlife. Ecosystem-scale Se modeling predicts Se bioaccumulation based on dietary biodynamics within site-specific food webs. The model can be used to forecast Se toxicity under different management or regulatory proposals or to translate a tissue guideline to a dissolved guideline. ...
The sources, biogeochemistry, and ecotoxicology of selenium (Se) combine to produce a widespread potential for ecological risk such as deformities in birds and fish. Linking the understanding of source characteristics to a mechanistic, biodynamic dietary model of Se exposure on an ecosystem-scale improves the prediction of Se effects and its potential remediation.
For the past 50 years, the USGS has been conducting research in the San Francisco Bay and Delta, California and beyond. This research would not have been possible without the Research Vessel (R/V) Polaris. Many scientists who have been fortunate to work on the Polaris have come and gone, but the Polaris sailed from the South San Francisco Bay continuously from 1968...
The USGS Quality Systems Branch (QSB) represents the Water Mission Area’s commitment to generating environmental data of known quality. QSB produces water and sediment performance-assessment samples and data to provide the USGS laboratory users, USGS laboratories, and field personnel with quantitative performance information to assess data quality.
Since 1998, the USGS-National Park Service Water-Quality Partnership has supported 217 projects to protect and improve water quality in 119 national parks. These USGS-NPS collaborative projects support science-based resource management by the National Park Service to address critical water-quality issues for many of our Nation's most highly valued aquatic systems.
The USGS collects, analyzes, and distributes data on a wide variety of water-related issues and resources. Much of our data is publicly available through the National Water Information System (NWIS), but additional datasets and analytical tools are also available.Access NWISWeb
Almost one-half of the U.S. population rely on groundwater for their water supply, and demand for groundwater for public supply, irrigation, and agriculture continues to increase. This mapper shows how concentrations of pesticides, nutrients, metals, and organic contaminants in groundwater are changing during decadal periods across the Nation.
This product consists of two sets of imperviousness calculations for 3,535 urban areas and urban clusters in the conterminous United States. Imperviousness is given as the percent of the area covered by impervious surfaces, such as roads, buildings, or parking lots.
U.S. Geological Survey GAGES-II time series data from consistent sources of land use, water use, agriculture, timber activities, dam removals, and other historical anthropogenic influences
This product is a series of ten datasets containing tabular data from historical time series sources for the 9,067 conterminous United States sites in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geospatial Attributes of Gages for Evaluating Streamflow II (GAGES-II) dataset.
The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project developed a series of statistical models, based on monitoring data and watershed characteristics, to enable estimation of pesticide concentrations for streams that have not been monitored.
In this data visualization, you can see how three major components of the water budget vary across the conterminous US. Precipitation is incoming rain and snow; evapotranspiration is outgoing evaporation from soil and water bodies and transpiration through plants; and runoff is excess water that makes its way to lakes and rivers through streams and spring discharges.
For all States except California, proprietary farm survey pesticide-use data are aggregated and reported at the multi-county Crop Reporting District (CRD) level. Harvested-crop acreage data by county from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture are used to calculate the median pesticide-by- crop use rates for each crop in each CRD.
Ancillary Data Related to Nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay—Data Supporting Structural Equation Modeling of Nutrient Loads
This data release provides ancillary data that describe potential nutrient sources and processes for total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) annual loads for 84 water-quality sites within the Chesapeake Bay.
This mapper provides results from the largest-ever assessment of water quality changes in the Nation's streams and rivers. More than 185 million water-quality records from over 600 Federal, State, Tribal, and local organizations were screened as part of this assessment.
This mapper provides results from the largest-ever assessment of water-quality changes in the Nation's streams and rivers. More than 185 million water-quality records from over 600 Federal, State, Tribal, and local organizations were screened as part of this assessment.
This site serves USGS water data (streamflow, groundwater, water quality, site information, and statistics) via automated means using web services and extensible markup language (XML), as well as other popular media types. Services are invoked with the REST protocol. These services designed for high fault tolerance and very high availability.
The USGS WaterWatch Toolkit provides online tools that allow users to search USGS sites in various ways; create a variety of maps, graphs, charts, animations, and tables; perform a variety of streamflow analyses, and retrieve summary statistics.
Downloadable spatial data files for exploration and analysis.
The clickable sites, Water Resources Conditions List, and Data Table at the bottom of the map are all connected. Interacting with any of them will activate pop-ups and display the site in both the Map, List and Table.
This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in Virginia. Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) threaten the reproductive success and long-term survival of sensitive aquatic populations in the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). The project employs a standardized EDC risk assessment framework to link new and ongoing research efforts in individual Parks and in Park Monitoring Networks, in order to provide a service-wide assessment of EDC risk in the NPS.
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)
Mixed-chemical exposure and predicted effects potential in wadeable southeastern USA streams
Complex chemical mixtures have been widely reported in larger streams but relatively little work has been done to characterize them and assess their potential effects in headwaterstreams. In 2014, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) sampled 54 Piedmont streams over ten weeks and measured 475 unique organic compounds...Bradley, Paul M.; Journey, Celeste A.; Berninger, Jason P.; Button, Daniel T.; Clark, Jimmy M.; Corsi, Steven R.; DeCicco, Laura A.; Hopkins, Kristina G.; Huffman, Bradley J.; Nakagaki, Naomi; Norman, Julia E.; Nowell, Lisa H.; Qi, Sharon L.; Van Metre, Peter C.; Waite, Ian R.
Linkages between hydrology and seasonal variations of nutrients and periphyton in a large oligotrophic subalpine lake
Periphyton is important to lake ecosystems, contributing to primary production, nutrient cycling, and benthic metabolism. Increases in periphyton growth in lakes can be indicative of changes in water quality, shifts in ecosystem structure, and increases in nutrient fluxes. In oligotrophic lakes, conservationists are interested in characterizing...Niswonger, Richard G.; Smith, David; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Sudeep Chandra; Naranjo, Ramon C.; Niswonger, Richard G.; Smith, David; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Chandra, Sudeep
Effects of ferric sulfate and polyaluminum chloride coagulation enhanced treatment wetlands on Typha growth, soil and water chemistry
Land surface subsidence is a concern in many deltas worldwide as it contributes to water quality degradation, loss of fertile land and increased potential for levee failure. As a possible solution to these concerns, on-site coagulation enhanced treatment wetlands(CETWs), coagulation water treatment followed by wetland...Ling Liang, Yan; Kraus, Tamara E. C.; Silva, Lucas C. R.; Bachand, Philip A. M.; Bachand, Sandra M.; Doane, Timothy A.; Horwath, William R.
Geometric versus anemometric surface roughness for a shallow accumulating snowpack
When applied to a snow-covered surface, aerodynamic roughness length, z0, is typically considered as a static parameter within energy balance equations. However, field observations show that z0 changes spatially and temporally, and thus z0 incorporated as a dynamic parameter may greatly improve models. To evaluate methods...Sanow, Jessica E.; Fassnacht, Steven R.; Kamin, David J.; Sexstone, Graham A.; Bauerle, William L.; Oprea, Iuliana
Prioritization framework for ranking riverine ecosystem stressors using example sites from the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon
As human populations increase, so does their influence over the environment. Altered terrain, degraded water quality, and threatened or endangered species are all-too-common consequences of a growing anthropogenic influence on the landscape. To help manage these effects, researchers have developed new ways to characterize current environmental...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Jones, Krista L.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Nilsen, Elena B.; Morace, Jennifer L.
Contaminants of emerging concern in the environment: Where we have been and what does the future hold?
In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted the nation to the dangers of manmade chemicals and indiscriminate use of pesticides. DDT was the culprit and its use threatened a variety of wildlife, including the national bird, bald eagles. In 1969, pressured by scientists and the public, the United States banned almost all uses of DDT;...Battaglin, William A.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Furlong, Edward T.; Glassmeyer, Susan; Blackwell, Brett R.; Corsi, Steven; Meyer, Michael T.; Bradley, Paul M.
Estimating metal concentrations with regression analysis and water-quality surrogates at nine sites on the Animas and San Juan Rivers, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah
The purpose of this report is to evaluate the use of site-specific regression models to estimate metal concentrations at nine U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations on the Animas and San Juan Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Downstream users could use these regression models to determine if metal concentrations are elevated and...Mast, M. Alisa
Land subsidence along the California Aqueduct in west-central San Joaquin Valley, California, 2003–10
Extensive groundwater withdrawal from the unconsolidated deposits in the San Joaquin Valley caused widespread aquifer-system compaction and resultant land subsidence from 1926 to 1970—locally exceeding 8.5 meters. The importation of surface water beginning in the early 1950s through the Delta-Mendota Canal and in the early 1970s through the...Sneed, Michelle; Brandt, Justin T.; Solt, Michael
Groundwater-storage change and land-surface elevation change in Tucson Basin and Avra Valley, south-central Arizona—2003–2016
The U.S. Geological Survey monitors groundwater-storage change and land-surface elevation change caused by groundwater withdrawal in Tucson Basin and Avra Valley—the two most populated alluvial basins within the Tucson Active Management Area. The Tucson Active Management Area is one of five active management areas in Arizona established by the...Carruth, Robert L.; Kahler, Libby M.; Conway, Brian D.
Simulation of groundwater flow and analysis of projected water use for the Rush Springs aquifer, western Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, (1) quantified the groundwater resources of the Rush Springs aquifer in western Oklahoma by developing a numerical groundwater-flow model, (2) evaluated the effects of estimated equal-proportionate-share (EPS) pumping rates on aquifer...Ellis, John
Modeling hydrodynamics, water temperature, and water quality in Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2012–15
Executive SummaryLocated southwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Klamath Straits Drain is a 10.1-mile-long canal that conveys water uphill and northward through the use of pumps before discharging to the Klamath River. Klamath Straits Drain traverses an area that historically encompassed Lower Klamath Lake. Currently, the Drain receives water from...Sullivan, Annett B.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Groundwater chemistry and water-level elevations in bedrock aquifers of the Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds, Rio Blanco County, Colorado, 2013–16
The Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, are known to contain important energy resources (oil shale and natural gas) and mineral resources (nahcolite). The primary sources of fresh groundwater in the Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds are bedrock aquifers in the Uinta and Green River Formations. The aquifers are...Thomas, Judith C.; McMahon, Peter B.
Software and related material (data and documentation) are made available by the USGS to be used in the public interest and the advancement of science.
iRIC (International River Interface Cooperative) is a river flow and riverbed variation analysis software package which combines the functionality of MD_SWMS (Multi-Dimensional Surface-Water Modeling System), developed by the USGS, and RIC-Nays, developed by the Foundation of Hokkaido River Disaster Prevention Research Center.
PHAST - A Computer Program for Simulating Groundwater Flow, Solute Transport, and Multicomponent Geochemical Reactions
PHAST Is a computer program for simulating groundwater flow, solute transport, and multicomponent geochemical reactions.
The Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD) uses the framework of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Modular Modeling System (MMS) to simulate fluxes of water and solutes through watersheds. WEBMOD divides watersheds into model response units (MRU) where fluxes and reactions are simulated for several hillslope reservoir types.
What’s New: A new version of the SPARROW code is being developed in the R programming language. The advantage of R is that it is non-proprietary and does not require a license or software cost. The R – SPARROW code is now being completed and should be available early in CY18. Stay Tuned.
SELDM is a database application where users can easily create and run highway-runoff simulations. SELDM simulates storm flows, concentrations, and loads. SELDM calculates the risk of exceeding water-quality criteria with and without user-defined BMPs. SELDM calculates annual runoff loads and is able to do a simple annual lake-loading analysis.
CE-QUAL-W2 is a water quality and hydrodynamic model in 2D (longitudinal-vertical) for rivers, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs and river basin systems. W2 models basic eutrophication processes such as temperature-nutrient-algae-dissolved oxygen-organic matter and sediment relationships.
GCLAS is a program designed primarily to compute daily and annual loadings of constituents transported in streamflow.
MT3D-USGS is a USGS updated release of the groundwater solute transport code MT3DMS. MT3D-USGS includes new transport modeling capabilities to accommodate flow terms calculated by MODFLOW packages that were previously unsupported by MT3DMS and to provide greater flexibility in the simulation of solute transport and reactive solute transport.
The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.
This map shows estimated concentrations of atrazine in shallow groundwater beneath agricultural land. Atrazine use is one of the most important factors used to predict atrazine and deethylatrazine concentrations in groundwater (right). Within areas of high atrazine use, groundwater residence time, soil permeability, and other factors explain some of the differences in...
USGS gage 01419500 Willowemoc Creek near Livingston Manor, NY
Development of geothermal saline groundwater into a warm-spring spa.
(Source: State of Florida Department of Natural Resources. Special Publication No. 21, 1977)
USGS Researcher Michael Dettinger Named 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
Research hydrologist Dr. Michael Dettinger, whose work has contributed greatly to the understanding of the interconnectedness of climate and water supplies in the Western U.S., is among this year’s AAAS Fellows.
Back and Forth: Ask Questions and Learn More About the Low-Level Helicopter Flying Above the Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Media: Please join the U.S. Geological Survey, CGG Airborne, and various partners for a demonstration takeoff of the low-flying helicopter and description of what scientists are seeking in/around the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Please RSVP to Heidi Koontz at 720-320-1246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance informing the local communities is appreciated.
Data Will Help to Improve Groundwater-Flow ModelData Will Help to Improve Groundwater-Flow Model
The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.