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: 501
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.

Date published: February 4, 2020

Cyanobacteria with the potential to produce toxins common in large U.S. rivers

Emerald-green harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become an all-too-familiar summertime sight in many U.S. lakes and reservoirs. A new USGS study reports that the cyanobacteria that cause HABs also occur in large rivers.

Date published: January 22, 2020

Nitrate loads entering the Gulf of Mexico have not changed despite reductions at local scales

Reducing delivery of nitrate to the Gulf of Mexico is critical to decreasing the size of the “dead zone”—an area of hypoxia, or low dissolved oxygen—in Louisiana coastal waters. A new USGS study reports that larger, more widespread decreases in nitrate loading to the Gulf are needed to achieve the target levels of a 25% reduction by...

Date published: January 9, 2020

New USGS online tools for watershed managers

SPARROW models, tools, and maps of streamflow, nutrients, and sediment for streams in five major U.S. regions