Water Resources

Groundwater, Aquifers, Wells, and Springs

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: March 3, 2019
Status: Active

Integration of sUAS into Hydrogeophysical Studies: Technology Demonstration and Evaluation

The USGS is evaluating the integration of small unoccupied aircraft systems – sUAS or "drones" –  into USGS hydrogeophysical studies. The following projects are part of a Water Resources Mission Area demonstration and evaluation effort in collaboration with USGS Water Science Centers (WSCs) starting in June 2018.

Contacts: Cian Dawson
Date published: March 3, 2019
Status: Active

Total Water Use

The USGS has estimated water use for the United States every 5 years since 1950. Estimates are provided for groundwater and surface-water sources, for fresh and saline water quality, and by sector or category of use. Estimates have been made at the State level since 1950, and at the county level since 1985. Water-use estimates by watershed were made from 1950 through 1995, first at the water-...

Date published: March 3, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Use

Groundwater refers to all subsurface water, specifically that part of groundwater which is in the saturated zone. Groundwater sources are called aquifers: geologic formations that contain sufficient saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to wells and springs. For the purposes of the USGS water-use reports, groundwater with less than 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg...

Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Quality Research

Every day, millions of gallons of groundwater are pumped to supply drinking water for about 140 million people, almost one-half of the Nation’s population. Learn about the quality and availability of groundwater for drinking, where and why groundwater quality is degraded, and where groundwater quality is changing.

Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater/Surface-Water Interaction

Water and the chemicals it contains are constantly being exchanged between the land surface and the subsurface. Surface water seeps into the ground and recharges the underlying aquifer—groundwater discharges to the surface and supplies the stream with baseflow. USGS Integrated Watershed Studies assess these exchanges and their effect on surface-water and groundwater quality and quantity.

Contacts: Paul D Capel
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Basics

Groundwater is the largest source of fresh water on Earth - it's kind of a big deal. The USGS monitors, tests, and studies groundwater resources to assure one of our Nation's most precious resources remains viable for future generations.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Saltwater Intrusion

Saltwater intrusion has occurred to some degree in many of the coastal aquifers of the United States. Since saltwater cannot be used to irrigate crops or be consumed by people, saltwater intrusion can be very problematic to coastal communities that rely on fresh groundwater supplies for the livelihood. The USGS studies how excessive groundwater pumping, sea level rise, and other factors...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is the process of injecting water, sand, and/or chemicals into a well to break up underground bedrock to free up oil or gas reserves. The USGS monitors the environmental impact of this practice across the country, from potential earthquakes to degraded groundwater quality.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Land Subsidence

More than 80 percent of known land subsidence in the U.S. is a consequence of groundwater use, and is an often overlooked environmental consequence of our land and water-use practices. Increasing land development threatens to exacerbate existing land-subsidence problems and initiate new ones. Subsidence detection and mapping done by the USGS is needed to understand and manage our current and...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

National Water Census: Groundwater

The National Water Census (NWC) is leveraging a long history of groundwater studies and is accelerating ongoing regional studies to assess the Nation's groundwater reserves, studies that formerly were conducted under the USGS Groundwater Resources Program. The NWC is also increasing the ability to integrate groundwater and surface-water analyses into watershed-level assessments of water...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Agriculture and the Quality of the Nation's Waters

Intensive studies by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project in agricultural areas provide insight into how agricultural activities have altered the natural flow of water and the way that agricultural chemicals enter streams and aquifers, and in particular how nutrients affect algal and invertebrate communities in agricultural streams.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Agricultural Contaminants

About 40 percent of the land in the United States is used for agriculture, and agriculture supplies a major part of the our food, feed, and fiber needs. Agricultural chemicals move into and through every component of the hydrologic system, including air, soil, soil water, streams, wetlands, and groundwater.

Attribution: Water Resources