Water Resources


Browse the list below for news, announcements, events, project updates, and other information related to the Water Resources Mission Area.

Filter Total Items: 456
Date published: May 5, 2020

Modification of Streamflow Across the U.S.

Human activities have caused flows in many of the Nation’s streams and rivers to be different from what they would be naturally. A new USGS study reports that, at a national scale, human management of land and water resources have modified natural patterns of streamflow along an estimated 1.2 million stream miles—more than one-third—of...

Date published: April 21, 2020

A slimy source of information on pesticides in streams

Analysis of stream biofilms reveals the presence of a wider array of pesticides than analysis of bed sediment, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey Regional Stream Quality Assessment. Biofilm analysis may also be a better predictor of potential adverse effects on the community...

Date published: April 7, 2020

Naturally Occurring Contaminants in "Ancient" Groundwater of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain aquifers

Groundwater in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain aquifers is old—more than 21,300 years old in more than half of 252 public-supply wells sampled. That ancient groundwater is more likely to contain concentrations of fluoride, arsenic, and polonium-210 that exceed human-health benchmarks than is younger groundwater, reports a new study...

Date published: April 1, 2020

The Quality of Our Groundwater—Progress on a National Survey

A U.S. Geological Survey study of groundwater quality across the nation now includes water-quality information for 15 of the most heavily used aquifers in the nation.

Date published: April 1, 2020

Water quality of rivers has changed dramatically in human-dominated landscapes of the United States

Human activities have markedly changed the water quality of rivers in the past few decades according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey—concentrations of some water- quality constituents have increased while others have decreased.

Date published: March 29, 2020

Colorado River Flow Dwindles as Warming-Driven Loss of Reflective Snow Energizes Evaporation

New USGS research indicates that streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) is decreasing by about 5% per degree Fahrenheit as a consequence of atmospheric warming, causing a 20% reduction over the past century.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 5, 2020

Concentrations of suspended sediment decreasing in many US streams and rivers

A new USGS study reports that landscape management actions across the U.S. aimed at reducing concentrations of suspended sediment in streams and rivers may be seeing some success. Between 1992 and 2012, concentrations of suspended sediment decreased at almost 60% of the 132 U.S. stream sites considered. Sediment...

Date published: March 4, 2020

New USGS IWAAs product: National Integrated Water Availability Assessments concept map

On Dec. 18, 2019, the USGS Water Resources Mission Area released the National Integrated Water Availability Assessments concept map. This map shows daily estimates of natural water storage for approximately 110,000 regions across the conterminous United States.

Date published: March 3, 2020

Atrazine concentrations have decreased in streams and rivers across the United States

From 2002 to 2012, concentrations of atrazine decreased in more than one-half of 60 U.S. streams and rivers studied and increased in only about one-third of these streams, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program. The streams and rivers are in a range of land-use settings.

Date published: February 6, 2020

Daily sampling of pesticides in streams

When scientists collected samples every day from 14 streams and analyzed them for pesticides, they found more pesticides and higher concentrations than when only weekly samples were analyzed. A new study reports that samples collected daily detected twice as many different pesticides over the 10–12-...

Date published: February 5, 2020

Pharmaceuticals common in small streams in the U.S.

Human-use pharmaceuticals are frequently present in many small streams, even those not receiving wastewater treatment plant discharges, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. In some streams, pharmaceuticals were detected at concentrations that could potentially be of concern for fish health.