Water Resources

Types of Water

The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle

Water is constantly moving through the hydrologic cycle

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Rivers, Streams, and Creeks

Rivers, Streams, and Creeks

Water quality data from state, federal, tribal, and local agencies

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Filter Total Items: 142
Date published: March 2, 2019
Status: Active

Water Quality in the Nation’s Streams and Rivers – Current Conditions and Long-Term Trends

The Nation's rivers and streams are a priceless resource, but pollution from urban and agricultural areas pose a threat to our water quality. To understand the value of water quality, and to more effectively manage and protect the Nation's water resources, it's critical that we know the current status of water-quality conditions, and how and why those conditions have been changing over time....

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

Groundwater/Surface-Water Interaction

Water and the chemicals it contains are constantly being exchanged between the land surface and the subsurface. Surface water seeps into the ground and recharges the underlying aquifer—groundwater discharges to the surface and supplies the stream with baseflow. USGS Integrated Watershed Studies assess these exchanges and their effect on surface-water and groundwater quality and quantity.

Contacts: Paul D Capel
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: Groundwater

The National Water Census (NWC) is leveraging a long history of groundwater studies and is accelerating ongoing regional studies to assess the Nation's groundwater reserves, studies that formerly were conducted under the USGS Groundwater Resources Program. The NWC is also increasing the ability to integrate groundwater and surface-water analyses into watershed-level assessments of water...

Attribution: Water Resources
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