Water Resources

Groundwater, Aquifers, Wells, and Springs

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Coastal Carolinas Focus Area Study

The USGS is undertaking a 3-year study of water availability and use to investigate competing societal and ecological needs in Southeastern Atlantic Coastal Basins of the Carolinas. This study will compile existing information, add new scientific data and interpretation, and develop tools to help resource managers and stakeholders address current and future water-use challenges.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Red River Focus Area Study

The USGS is undertaking a 3-year study of water use, availability, and change in the Red River basin, which covers more than 93,000 square miles in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Water resources are being stressed by increasing water demands and increasingly severe droughts, and a comprehensive water-resource assessment of the basin is needed to enable sustainable water...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Focus Area Study

As one of several National Focus Area Studies within the USGS National Water Census (NWC) the USGS completed a 3-year study of water availability and use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Upper Rio Grande Basin Focus Area Study

USGS is undertaking a 3-year study of water use, availability, and change in the Upper Rio Grande Basin. This study area runs 670 miles from its headwaters in Colorado through New Mexico and northern Mexico to Texas, and will compile existing information and add new scientific data and interpretation to help stakeholders face current and future water issues.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Quality—Current Conditions and Changes Through Time

Is groundwater the source of your drinking water? The USGS is assessing the quality of groundwater used for public supply using newly collected data along with existing water-quality data. Learn more about this invisible, vital resource so many of us depend on.

Contacts: Bruce Lindsey
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Rapid Fluctuations in Groundwater Quality

We think of groundwater as moving slowly, and groundwater quality as changing slowly—over decades or even centuries. But in some parts of some aquifers, groundwater quality can fluctuate rapidly, sometimes over just a few hours. Are such changes part of a long-term trend, or just part of a short-term cycle? And what does that mean for suitability for drinking?

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Predicting Groundwater Quality in Unmonitored Areas

Groundwater provides nearly one-half of the Nation’s drinking water, and sustains the steady flow of streams and rivers and the ecological systems that depend on that flow.  Unless we drill a well, how can we know the quality of the groundwater below? Learn about how the USGS is using sophisticated techniques to predict groundwater quality and view national maps of groundwater quality.

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Factors Affecting Vulnerability of Public-Supply Wells to Contamination

More than 100 million people in the United States—about 35 percent of the population—receive their drinking water from public-supply wells. These systems can be vulnerable to contamination from naturally occurring constituents, such as radon, uranium and arsenic, and from commonly used manmade chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, solvents, and gasoline hydrocarbons. Learn about the...

Contacts: Sandra Eberts
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Age

The age of groundwater is key in predicting which contaminants it might contain. There are many tracers and techniques that allow us to estimate the age—or mix of ages—of the groundwater we depend on as a drinking water supply. 

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that both vaporize into air and dissolve in water. VOCs are pervasive in daily life, because they’re used in industry, agriculture, transportation, and day-to-day activities around the home. Once released into groundwater, many VOCs are persistent and can migrate to drinking-water supply wells.

Contacts: Bruce Lindsey
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Oxidation/Reduction (Redox)

The redox state of groundwater—whether the groundwater is oxic (oxidized) or anoxic (reduced)—has profound implications for groundwater quality.  Knowing the redox conditions of groundwater can help determine whether it contains elevated levels of many contaminants, including arsenic, nitrate, and even some manmade contaminants.

Contacts: Peter B McMahon
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Completed

National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA): 1991-2012

In 1991, Congress established the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project to address where, when, why, and how the Nation's water quality has changed, or is likely to change in the future, in response to human activities and natural factors. This page discusses the first two decadal cycles of NAWQA research from 1991 through 2012.