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Science

The USGS provides science about natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Our scientists develop new methods and tools to supply timely, relevant, and useful information about the Earth and its processes. Learn more below.

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Types of Water

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How We Use Water

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Measuring and Monitoring Water

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Aquatic Biology and Ecosystems

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Common Water Issues

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Essential Tools and Products

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Advanced Capabilities and Research

FAQs

What is a debris flow?

Debris flows are fast-moving landslides that are particularly dangerous to life and property because they move quickly, destroy objects in their paths, and often strike without warning. They occur in a wide variety of environments throughout the world, including all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Debris flows generally occur during periods of intense rainfall or rapid snowmelt and usually start...

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What is a debris flow?

Debris flows are fast-moving landslides that are particularly dangerous to life and property because they move quickly, destroy objects in their paths, and often strike without warning. They occur in a wide variety of environments throughout the world, including all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Debris flows generally occur during periods of intense rainfall or rapid snowmelt and usually start...

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How do I sign up for the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System?

The USGS issues ShakeAlert® Messages but alert delivery will come by other public and private means (internet, radio, television, cellular), including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) -- think of an AMBER Alert -- delivered by FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Alert delivery via the WEA system is available in California, Oregon, and Washington. To ensure that you can...

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How do I sign up for the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System?

The USGS issues ShakeAlert® Messages but alert delivery will come by other public and private means (internet, radio, television, cellular), including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) -- think of an AMBER Alert -- delivered by FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Alert delivery via the WEA system is available in California, Oregon, and Washington. To ensure that you can...

Learn More

Why are pollinating bats, birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals important?

Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a juicy peach, an-apple-a-day, almonds, rich and creamy dates, a handful of plump cashews, or vine-ripened tomatoes? Do you enjoy seeing the native flowers and plants that surround you? If so, you depend on pollinators. Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other animals are hard at work, providing vital but often...

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Why are pollinating bats, birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals important?

Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a juicy peach, an-apple-a-day, almonds, rich and creamy dates, a handful of plump cashews, or vine-ripened tomatoes? Do you enjoy seeing the native flowers and plants that surround you? If so, you depend on pollinators. Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other animals are hard at work, providing vital but often...

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Education

USGS On The Road

Watch all episodes of USGS On The Road, a web-series about USGS scientists and water science from all corners of Maryland, Delaware, and DC.

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USGS On The Road

Watch all episodes of USGS On The Road, a web-series about USGS scientists and water science from all corners of Maryland, Delaware, and DC.

Learn More

Karst Interest Group (KIG) Workshop

The Karst Interest Group’s (KIG) mission is to encourage and support inter-disciplinary collaboration and technology transfer among scientists working in karst areas.

The 9th USGS Karst Interest Group is planned for October 22-24, 2024 in Nashville, TN.   

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Karst Interest Group (KIG) Workshop

The Karst Interest Group’s (KIG) mission is to encourage and support inter-disciplinary collaboration and technology transfer among scientists working in karst areas.

The 9th USGS Karst Interest Group is planned for October 22-24, 2024 in Nashville, TN.   

Learn More

Water Science School

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science School. We offer information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.

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Water Science School

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science School. We offer information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.

Learn More