Water Resources

How We Use Water

National Water Census Data Portal

National Water Census Data Portal

National estimates of water budget components and more

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Data Visualization of Water Use in the U.S. 2015

Data Visualization of Water Use in the U.S. 2015

Explore water use data by state and county for 2015

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Filter Total Items: 93
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

Radionuclides

Many people might be surprised to learn that drinking-water sources, especially groundwater, can contain radioactive elements (radionuclides). Radionuclides in water can be a concern for human health because several are toxic or carcinogenic. Other radionuclides are useful tools for determining the age of groundwater in an aquifer or of sediment deposited at the bottom of a water body.

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

Recreational Water Quality

People love to play in water. The USGS works to ensure that water in our nation’s streams, lakes, and oceans are suitable for the moments when you just need to jump in.

Attribution: Water Resources
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: Completed

Groundwater Quality in Principal Aquifers of the Nation, 1991–2010

What’s in your groundwater? Learn about groundwater quality in the Principal Aquifers of nine regions across the United States in informative circulars filled with figures, photos, and water-quality information.

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

Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs)

This searchable online database provides Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs) for hundreds of chemicals, including  pesticides and degradates. HBSLs are non-enforceable benchmark concentrations of contaminants in water. These screening levels supplement federal drinking-water standards and guidelines.

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
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