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: 145
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that both vaporize into air and dissolve in water. VOCs are pervasive in daily life, because they’re used in industry, agriculture, transportation, and day-to-day activities around the home. Once released into groundwater, many VOCs are persistent and can migrate to drinking-water supply wells.

Contacts: Bruce Lindsey
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Oxidation/Reduction (Redox)

The redox state of groundwater—whether the groundwater is oxic (oxidized) or anoxic (reduced)—has profound implications for groundwater quality.  Knowing the redox conditions of groundwater can help determine whether it contains elevated levels of many contaminants, including arsenic, nitrate, and even some manmade contaminants.

Contacts: Peter B McMahon
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Archived

SPARROW: Nutrients and the Nation's Estuaries

Tracking the Source and Quantity of Nutrients to the Nation's Estuaries (archived) provides maps and data of watershed nutrient contributions to the Nation's estuaries estimated using SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models.

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 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 26, 2019
Status: Completed

National Brackish Groundwater Assessment

All water naturally contains dissolved solids that can make it "brackish" or distastefully salty. The amount of freshwater for drinking-water, agricultural, industrial, and environmental needs has declined in many areas and has led to concerns about future availability. The USGS conducted a national assessment of brackish aquifers that could supplement or replace freshwater sources.

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

2011 - The Year of the Flood

2011 proved to be another record-breaking flood year in the United States. USGS Water Science Center personnel from North Dakota to Louisiana measured springtime floods on the Red River of the North, the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, and many tributaries. The Missouri River and its tributaries saw record-breaking snow-melt runoff through the summer, followed closely by Hurricane Irene and...

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds (New York, N.Y.)

The Harlem and Bronx Rivers provide ecological and social resources in an intensively urban area. Connecting people to rivers requires clean water—the USGS is helping to assess the efficacy of green infrastructure to improve the quality of stormwater that flows into the rivers.

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.

Contacts: Rebecca Travis
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