Water Resources

Aquatic Biology and Ecosystems

Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA)

Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA)

Studying water-quality factors that stress aquatic life

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Surface Water and Ecology

Surface Water and Ecology

Research on water quality of rivers and streams

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National Water Census: Environmental Flows

National Water Census: Environmental Flows

What flows are needed to sustain ecosystems?

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Filter Total Items: 61
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Pesticides

Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill pests, including insects (insecticides), weeds (herbicides), and fungi (fungicides). The USGS assesses the occurrence and behavior of pesticides in streams, lakes, and groundwater and the potential for pesticides to contaminate our drinking-water supplies or harm aquatic ecosystems.

Contacts: Lisa Nowell
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Mercury

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the human nervous system. Eating fish contaminated with mercury can cause serious harm to people and wildlife.

Contacts: Mark E Brigham
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Water Quality After Wildfire

Wildfires are devastating and can lead to long-term changes to the landscape. With a significant amount of our Nation’s drinking water sources originating in forested watersheds, evaluating the effect fires have on water quality is incredibly important. The USGS works with other federal and state land managers to assess water-quality after wildfires in order to help protect one of our most...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Metals and Other Trace Elements

Metals, metalloids, and radionuclides all are trace elements that occur naturally in the Earth's crust. In small quantities many trace elements are essential for health in all living organisms, but some trace elements can be toxic or cause cancer, and some can bioaccumulate. The USGS investigates where and how trace elements make their way into our Nation's surface water and groundwater.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Streamflow Alteration

Humans, just like aquatic organisms, need water.  Flood control, urban infrastructure, irrigation of agriculture, and myriad other ways we manage water affect the natural flow of streams and rivers.  How do the ways we manage land and water affect the natural patterns of streamflow that ecosystems depend on? 

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Water-Quality Benchmarks for Contaminants

How does the water quality measure up?  It all depends on what the water will be used for and what contaminants are of interest.  Water-quality benchmarks are designed to protect drinking water, recreation, aquatic life, and wildlife.  Here you’ll find links to some of the most widely used sets of water, sediment, and fish tissue benchmarks and general guidance about their interpretation.

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

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Local and Global Perspectives

The sources, biogeochemistry, and ecotoxicology of selenium (Se) combine to produce a widespread potential for ecological risk such as deformities in birds and fish. Linking the understanding of source characteristics to a mechanistic, biodynamic dietary model of Se exposure on an ecosystem-scale improves the prediction of Se effects and its potential remediation.

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

National Water Census: Regional Groundwater Availability Studies

The National Water Census includes regional analysis of groundwater availability, enabling information to be integrated and consistent so the resource can be analyzed and understood on an aquifer–wide scale.  The NWC also seeks to increase capacity to integrate groundwater and surface water into watershed-level assessments of water availability.

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

Flood Inundation Mapping Toolbox

The FIM Toolbox contains comprehensive information on the Flood Inundation Mapping program, including how to develop a flood inundation map library. Resources include process documents, scientific and technical requirements, forms and templates, outreach and educational materials, and contact information. The FIM Toolbox is updated as new resources become available.

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

Trace Metals in San Francisco Bay Clams

The clams Potamocorbula amurensis and Corbicula fluminea were collected at a variety of sites in the San Francisco Bay/ Delta beginning July 1990 and ending February 2010. These invasive species were used as biosentinels of the fate, transport, and effects of trace metals in the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.

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

Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA)

The goals of the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA) are to characterize multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life (contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and streamflow alteration) and to develop a better understanding of the relation of these stressors to ecological conditions in streams throughout the region.

Attribution: Water Resources
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