Water Resources

Common Water Issues

Floods

Floods

 

Flood monitoring data helps protect life and property

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The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle

Water is constantly moving through the hydrologic cycle

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Filter Total Items: 144
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

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: Streamflow

The USGS National Water Census complements the USGS national network of more than 8,000 streamgages by estimating streamflow for ungaged locations throughout the country, by analyzing streamflow records, and by providing tools for analysis of streamgage data to end users. The USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) makes the actual...

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

National Water Census: Water Use

Through the National Water Census, USGS will provide more comprehensive reporting of national information on withdrawal, conveyance, consumptive use, and return flow by water-use category. Water-use data enables water managers to plan more strategically and enables the analysis of trends of over time. It is also vital to water-availability studies such as watershed and groundwater models.

Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

National Water Census: Environmental Flows

Environmental water studies refer to understanding the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows, as well as the water levels and storage required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and the human livelihoods that depend on these ecosystems. The concept of ‘environmental flows’ in stream ecology are the basis of these studies, but they go beyond the understanding of surface flows...

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

National Water Census: Evapotranspiration

No water budget would be complete without accounting for evaporation and related processes, such as transpiration and sublimation. Evapotranspiration, or "ET," refers to the combined flux of plant transpiration and evaporation from the adjacent soil. It is especially important for understanding water used by irrigated crops, and is related to crop productivity. Consumptive water use for...

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

Acid Rain

The USGS has been at the forefront of studying the impacts of acid rain for decades. How does acid rain form? What does it do to the landscape? Can it burn you like battery acid? Keep reading to find out more...

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
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Chloride, Salinity, and Dissolved Solids

All natural waters contain some dissolved solids (salinity) from contact with soils, rocks, and other natural materials. Too much, though, and dissolved solids can impair water use. Unpleasant taste, high water-treatment costs, mineral accumulation in plumbing, staining, corrosion, and restricted use for irrigation are among the problems associated with elevated concentrations of dissolved...

Contacts: Bruce Lindsey
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Arsenic and Drinking Water

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element, but long-term exposure can cause cancer in people. There has been a substantial amount of research done to address arsenic in groundwater and drinking-water supplies around the country. The USGS studies local and national sources of arsenic to help health officials better manage our water resources.

Attribution: Water Resources