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: 68
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Delaware 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 Delaware River Basin.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Surface-Water Quality and Ecology

Research by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project on water quality of rivers and streams covers a broad range of topics, from nonpoint pollution issues to vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems. Dive in and find out more about current water-quality conditions, how and where water quality is changing, and the latest information on pesticides, nutrients, and other contaminants...

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Mining

Environmental sources of selenium (Se) such as from organic-enriched sedimentary deposits are geologic in nature and thus can occur on regional scales. A constructed map of the global distribution of Se source rocks informs potential areas of reconnaissance for modeling of Se risk including the phosphate deposits of southeastern Idaho and the coals of Appalachia.

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Irrigation

Adverse effects of selenium (Se) on fish and waterfowl in wetlands receiving agricultural drainage occurred in the 1980s in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The identified mechanisms of Se enrichment helped resolve Se toxicity problems associated with irrigated agriculture in the arid West. Bioaccumulation of Se in ancient marine sediments is postulated as a primary pathway in source...

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Refining

The San Francisco Bay-Delta receives selenium (Se) internally from oil refineries and externally through riverine agricultural discharges. Predator species considered at risk from Se consume the estuary’s dominant bivalve, C. amurensis, an efficient bioaccumulator of Se. Modeling predicts site-specific ecological risk and derives a range of protective Se concentrations for use by decision-...

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
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.

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Modeling

Selenium (Se) as a contaminant of ecosystems is bioaccumulative and causes reproductive effects in fish and wildlife. Ecosystem-scale Se modeling predicts Se bioaccumulation based on dietary biodynamics within site-specific food webs. The model can be used to forecast Se toxicity under different management or regulatory proposals or to translate a tissue guideline to a dissolved guideline. ...

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Active

Flood Inundation Map (FIM) Libraries

The Flood Inundation Mapping Program focuses on developing flood inundation map libraries and helping communities pair those libraries with real-time stream data and National Weather Service flood forecasts to form a two-dimensional flood warning system. Together, these products can help communities estimate the extent of a flood and identify at-risk areas and resources in advance of...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Water-Quality Quick Links

Looking for data? Maps? Use the links below to quickly access some of the most frequently visited USGS web pages on water quality.

Contacts: Barbara Mahler
Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Middle Rio Grande (Albuquerque, N. Mex.)

The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, just 7 miles south of downtown Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, will reconnect people, especially young people, with nature in this highly populated area. The USGS is gathering data that will help gauge the success of habitat restoration efforts.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Little Calumet River (Northwest Indiana)

The USGS works with a wide range of cooperators to investigate many aspects of water quality. The newly integrated USGS Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center is assisting in furthering urban water-quality research in Northwest Indiana.

Contacts: Paul Buszka
Date published: February 24, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Middle Blue River Basin (Kansas City, Mo.)

Reconnecting people and water is an increasingly important goal in many urban areas. Parks, urban trails, boat ramps, and urban agriculture all are ways that an urban population can interact with nature and improve quality of life.  USGS is participating in gathering the information that will make these projects possible.