Mission Areas

Water Resources

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 water use and availability.

USGS Water Data for the Nation

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites across all 50 states.

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Message from the Associate Director for Water

Message from the Associate Director for Water

Learn more about the WMA from Dr. Don Cline, the Associate Director for Water Resources.

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Popular Water Data and Tools

Explore our science by the topical areas that drive the research and projects conducted by our Programs.

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Water Quality Portal

National Groundwater Monitoring Network Data Portal

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News

Date published: September 18, 2019

Managing phosphorus in U.S. streams and rivers still a challenge

Despite decades of efforts to reduce phosphorus loads in streams, phosphorus continues to be a problem in many U.S. streams and rivers, causing explosive growth of aquatic plants and algae, including formation of harmful algal blooms. A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program investigates why.

Date published: September 12, 2019

Groundwater age-dating simplified

A new USGS report documents a simple method to classify groundwater age as premodern (recharged before 1953), modern (recharge in 1953 or later), or a mix of the two. The method—tritium-based age classification, or TBAC—requires just a single measurement of tritium, along with knowledge of sample date and location...

Date published: September 5, 2019

USGS Scientists Document Hurricane Dorian’s Impacts

Editor’s Note: This story was revised Sept. 10, 2019 to include the later phases of USGS’ response to Hurricane Dorian.

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Dorian, visit the USGS Hurricane Dorian page at www.usgs.gov/dorian.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Methods for estimating regional coefficient of skewness for unregulated streams in New England, based on data through water year 2011

The magnitude of annual exceedance probability floods is greatly affected by the coefficient of skewness (skew) of the annual peak flows at a streamgage. Standard flood frequency methods recommend weighting the station skew with a regional skew to better represent regional and stable conditions. This study presents an updated analysis of a...

Veilleux, Andrea G.; Zarriello, Phillip J.; Hodgkins, Glenn A.; Ahearn, Elizabeth A.; Olson, Scott A.; Cohn, Timothy A.
Attribution: Water Resources
Veilleux, A.G., Zariello, P.J., Hodgkins, G.A., Ahearn, E.A., Olson, S.A., and Cohn, T.A., 2019, Methods for estimating regional coefficient of skewness for unregulated streams in New England, based on data through water year 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5037, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175037.

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Year Published: 2019

Potentiometric surface of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, spring 2016

A potentiometric surface map for spring 2016 was created for the Mississippi River Valley alluvial (MRVA) aquifer using selected available groundwater-altitude data from wells and surface-water-altitude data from streamgages. Most of the wells were measured annually or one time after installation, but some wells were measured more than one time or...

McGuire, Virginia L.; Seanor, Ronald C.; Asquith, William H.; Kress, Wade H.; Strauch, Kellan R.
McGuire, V.L., Seanor, R.C., Asquith, W.H., Kress, W.H., and Strauch, K.R., 2019, Potentiometric surface of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, spring 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3429, 14 p., 5 sheets, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3439.

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Year Published: 2019

Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation

High-frequency water-quality monitoring stations measure and transmit data, often in near real-time, from a wide range of aquatic environments to assess the quality of the Nation’s water resources. Common instrumentation for high-frequency water-quality data collection uses a multi-parameter sonde, which typically has sensors that measure and...

Mathany, Timothy M.; Saraceno, John Franco; Kulongoski, Justin T.
Mathany, T.M., Saraceno, J.F., and Kulongoski, J.T., 2019, Guidelines and standard procedures for high-frequency groundwater-quality monitoring stations—Design, operation, and record computation: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1–D7, 54 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm1D7.