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: 523
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, which shows daily estimates of natural water storage for approximately 110,000 regions across the conterminous United States. This map is currently offline for updates.

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

Date published: January 9, 2020

Herbicide glyphosate prevalent in U.S. streams and rivers

The herbicide glyphosate was detected at least once in 66 of 70 U.S. streams and rivers located in a range of land-use settings, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup® and is the most widely used herbicide in...

Date published: January 7, 2020

Targeted management of a small number of catchments may help reduce nitrogen loading to Chesapeake Bay

A new USGS study uses the SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) model to assess how nitrogen loading to the Chesapeake Bay might change in response to changing different sources of nitrogen inputs. The largest reduction in load is predicted to occur if nitrogen fertilizer applied to agricultural land is decreased.