Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.Read Science Plan
A component of groundwater availability is whether the water quality is suitable for a particular use. Elected officials, water managers, and the general public have raised concerns about whether water quality has been affected in developed and agricultural areas by wastewater disposal, fertilizer application, and animal waste.
Groundwater is the primary source of water supply to Ada County’s growing population. Because of a proposed development near Mayfield, the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) initiated the East Ada County Hydrologic Project to improve the scientific understanding of the groundwater resources in the area.
The endangered Bruneau hot springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis) exists only in a geographically limited habitat of thermal springs and seeps in southwestern Idaho. As a part of its 2002 recovery plan for the springsnail, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) targeted conservation efforts to increase groundwater levels in the Bruneau area to protect the geothermal spring discharges...
Updating Low-Flow Statistics at USGS Streamgages and Regionalization of Selected Low-Flow Characteristics for Alabama Streams
As part of their mission to protect public health and aquatic ecosystems, Alabama state agencies need accurate and representative streamflow statistics to establish realistic and applicable criteria for both water quality and water quantity (fig. 1). Historically, low-flow statistics, such as the annual minimum 7-day average flow that likely will occur, on average, once every 10 years (7Q10),...
The State of Idaho needs to determine stream discharge, adjusted to remove fluctuations resulting from the operation of hydropower facilities, in the Snake River below Swan Falls Dam near Murphy, Idaho. The State will use this information to distribute water to owners of water rights in the middle Snake River, particularly at thresholds of 3,900 and 5,600 ft3/s.
Water exchange between...
Development around Coeur d'Alene Lake has accelerated over the past 25 years. Commercial and residential development adjacent to the lake plus demands for irrigation, recreation, and hydropower raise concerns about the potential for declining lake levels.
A comprehensive lake water budget helps resource managers determine the possible effects of growth on lake levels.
The mining district in the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River valley was among the Nation’s largest producers of silver, lead, zinc, and other metals from the 1880s to the 1980s. These activities have produced large quantities of waste material that contain environmentally hazardous contaminants such as cadmium, lead, and zinc. Much of this material has been discharged directly to or washed into...
Starting in 1997, the USGS began routinely studying water resources in the Clackamas River Basin. Whether it be assessing harmful algal blooms, runoff issues, streamflow, or watershed health, the USGS has worked with its partners to maintain one of Oregon's most beloved rivers.
Static flood-inundation map libraries consist of maps that have been created in advance of a flood that are ready to be served through the Internet. Each library consists of a set of flood extent and depth maps developed for predetermined stream stage intervals (for example, a map for each one foot of stage). A user can view real-time or forecast stage data from a USGS streamgage or National...
StreamStats is a Web-based tool that provides streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics, and other information for USGS streamgaging stations and for user-selected ungaged sites on streams. When users select the location of a streamgaging station, StreamStats provides previously published information from a database. When users select a site on an ungaged stream, StreamStats will...
T-LiDAR technology utilizes reflected laser pulses sent from a tripod-mounted scanning instrument to determine distances to targets of interest. The resulting dataset is a 3 dimensional model or "point cloud" of millions of XYZ data points, spaced only a few millimeters apart. This highly detailed dataset is used by USGS scientists to create topographic models, make detailed measurements, and...
The USGS is summarizing basic information on water resources for each parish in Louisiana and presenting the information in fact-sheet format. Information presented includes groundwater and surface-water availability, quality, development, use, and trends. These brief summaries of water resources will provide parish officials, local officials and concerned citizens with information needed to...
The USGS collects, analyzes, and distributes data on a wide variety of water-related issues and resources. Much of our data is publicly available through the National Water Information System (NWIS), but additional datasets and analytical tools are also available.Access NWISWeb
This dataset includes active layer depth measurements made annually at Active Layer Networks across the Yukon River Basin in Alaska and Canada. Active layer depth measurements are made using a calibrated metal rod pushed into the soil until permafrost is reached. Each network location consists of a 45 meter by 45 meter grid, measurements are made annually at the time of maximum active layer...
Recovery data for surface water, groundwater and lab reagent samples analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437, water years 2013-15.
Analytical recovery is the concentration of an analyte measured in a water-quality sample expressed as a percentage of the known concentration added to the sample (Mueller and others, 2015). Analytical recovery (hereafter referred to as “recovery”) can be used to understand method bias and variability and to assess the temporal changes in a method over time (Martin and...
Datasets for the report entitled: "A Method for Addressing Differences in Concentrations of Fipronil and Three Degradates Obtained by Two Different Laboratory Methods"
This report provides data input and computation results for a method developed by Crawford and Martin (2017) to address differences in concentrations of fipronil and three degradates obtained by two different laboratory methods. Data are arranged in 9 tables that include water-quality site information, laboratory recovery data, laboratory analyses results and measured water-sample...
Agricultural Pesticide Use Estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014: Version 2
The National Water Quality Network (NWQN) for Rivers and Streams includes 113 surface-water river and stream sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Program (NWQP). The NWQN represents the consolidation of four historical national networks: the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, the USGS National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN...
Transient Electromagnetic Surveys Collected for Delineation of Saline Groundwater in the Genesee Valley, New York, October-November 2016
In late October and early November 2016, transient electromagnetic (TEM) data were acquired at two locations in Livingston County, in western New York, in order to characterize the subsurface resistivity structure in support of a U.S. Geological Survey groundwater investigation. The TEM data were collected as part of a pilot project to evaluate geophysical methods to characterize the valley...
Stream restoration goals include reducing erosion and increasing hyporheic exchange to promote biogeochemical processing and improve water quality. Suspended fine particles (<100 µm) exchange with transient storage areas near and within streambeds and banks. Fine particle deposition and retention directly impact carbon and nutrient cycling by supporting benthic and hyporheic...
Ecological community datasets used to evaluate the presence of trends in ecological communities in selected rivers and streams across the United States, 1992-2012 (output)
In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a study of more than 50 major river basins across the Nation as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project of the National Water-Quality Program. One of the major goals of the NAWQA project is to determine how water-quality and ecological conditions change over time. To support that goal, long-term consistent and comparable...
Model data for pore network modeling of the electrical signature of solute transport in dual-domain media, U.S. Geological Survey data release: U.S. Geological Survey data release
Pore network simulations were performed to investigate the electrical geophysical
signature of solute-transport in dual-domain media. This data release includes model
results, source code, and laboratory data used in the accompanying paper, as
explained in the upper-level "readme" file.
MODPATH particle-tracking analysis of groundwater flow and travel times to the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary and streams within the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor watershed, New Jersey
A groundwater-flow model that was previously developed by the U. S. Geological Survey of
Ocean County, N.J. (https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20165035) was used in an analysis of groundwater
flow in the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system and deeper confined aquifers that underlie the
Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor (BB-LEH) watershed...
Pesticide concentration and streamflow datasets used to evaluate pesticide trends in the Nation’s rivers and streams, 1992-2012 (output)
In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a study of more than 50 major river basins across the Nation as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project of the National Water-Quality Program. One of the major goals of the NAWQA project is to determine how water-quality conditions change over time. To support that goal, long-term consistent and comparable monitoring has...
Modeled temperature data developed for study of shallow mountain bedrock limits seepage-based headwater climate refugia, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey data release
1D transient numerical simulations with a modified version of the SUTRA model
(preliminary code) that accounts for variably-saturated freeze-thaw dynamics
(e.g. McKenzie and Voss, 2013) to predict annual alluvial aquifer temperature
dynamics using coupled fluid and heat transport physics. The model simulations
were run with a modified version of SUTRA_ICE (unreleased)...
This product contains 1,297 watershed boundaries for water quality study sites of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Program (NWQP) Surface Water Trends project. These include sites where water quality information was collected by both USGS and non-USGS agencies. The data consist of 1,285 boundaries in the conterminous United States, and 12 in Puerto Rico. Twenty-seven...
Origin of methane and sources of high concentrations in Los Angeles groundwater
In 2014, samples from 37 monitoring wells at 17 locations, within or near oil fields, and one site >5 km from oil fields, in the Los Angeles Basin, California, were analyzed for dissolved hydrocarbon gas isotopes and abundances. The wells sample a variety of depths of an aquifer system composed of unconsolidated and semiconsolidated sediments...Kulongoski, Justin T.; McMahon, Peter B.; Land, Michael; Wright, Michael; Johnson, Theodore; Landon, Matthew K.
Estimated use of water in the United States in 2015
Water use in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be about 322 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 9 percent less than in 2010. The 2015 estimates put total withdrawals at the lowest level since before 1970, following the same overall trend of decreasing total withdrawals observed from 2005 to 2010. Freshwater withdrawals were 281...Dieter, Cheryl A.; Maupin, Molly A.; Caldwell, Rodney R.; Harris, Melissa A.; Ivahnenko, Tamara I.; Lovelace, John K.; Barber, Nancy L.; Linsey, Kristin S.
Summary of estimated water use in the United States in 2015
A total of 322 Bgal/d of water withdrawals was reported for eight categories of use in the United States in 2015, which was 9 percent less than in 2010 (354 Bgal/d), and continued a declining trend since 2005. The decline in total withdrawals in 2015 primarily was caused by significant decreases (28.8 Bgal/d) in thermoelectric power, which...Maupin, Molly A.
Bathymetric contour map, surface area and capacity table, and bathymetric difference map for Clearwater Lake near Piedmont, Missouri, 2017
Clearwater Lake, on the Black River near Piedmont in Reynolds County, Missouri, was constructed in 1948 and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood-risk reduction, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat. The lake area is about 1,800 acres with about 34 miles of shoreline at the conservation pool elevation of 498 feet. Since...Richards, Joseph M.; Huizinga, Richard J.
DDT and related compounds in pore water of shallow sediments on the Palos Verdes Shelf, California, USA
For nearly two and a half decades following World War II, production wastes from the world's largest manufacturer of technical DDT (1-chloro-4-[2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]benzene) were discharged into sewers of Los Angeles County. Following treatment, the wastes were released via a submarine outfall system to nearshore coastal waters...Eganhouse, Robert P.; DiFilippo, Erica L.; Pontolillo, James; Orem, William H.; Hackley, Paul C.; Edwards, Brian
Quantifying anthropogenic contributions to century-scale groundwater salinity changes, San Joaquin Valley, California, USA
Total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations in groundwater tapped for beneficial uses (drinking water, irrigation, freshwater industrial) have increased on average by about 100 mg/L over the last 100 years in the San Joaquin Valley, California (SJV). During this period land use in the SJV changed from natural vegetation and dryland agriculture to...Hansen, Jeffrey; Jurgens, Bryant; Fram, Miranda S.
Reductive dechlorination rates of 4,4′-DDE (1-chloro-4-[2,2-dichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethenyl]benzene) in sediments of the Palos Verdes Shelf, CA
Wastes from the world's largest manufacturer of DDT (1-chloro-4-[2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]benzene) were released into the Los Angeles County municipal sewer system from 1947 to 1971. Following primary treatment, the effluent was discharged through a submarine outfall system whereupon a portion of the DDT and associated degradation...Eganhouse, Robert P.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Pontolillo, James; Edwards, Brian; Dickhudt, Patrick J.
Harnessing big data to rethink land heterogeneity in Earth system models
The continual growth in the availability, detail, and wealth of environmental data provides an invaluable asset to improve the characterization of land heterogeneity in Earth system models – a persistent challenge in macroscale models. However, due to the nature of these data (volume and complexity) and computational constraints, these data are...Chaney, Nathaniel W.; Van Huijgevoort, Marjolein H. J.; Shevliakova, Elena; Malyshev, Sergey; Milly, Paul C. D.; Gauthier, Paul P. G.; Sulman, Benjamin N.
Streamflow and selenium loads during synoptic sampling of the Gunnison River and its tributaries near Delta, Colorado, November 2015
In response to the need for more information about selenium (Se) sources and transport, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, completed a study that characterized Se loads in a reach of the Gunnison River between Delta and Grand Junction, Colo. This report identifies where possible dissolved Se...Stevens, Michael R.; Leib, Kenneth J.; Thomas, Judith C.; Bauch, Nancy J.; Richards, Rodney J.
Hydrographic surveys of rivers and lakes using a multibeam echosounder mapping system
A multibeam echosounder is a type of sound navigation and ranging device that uses sound waves to “see” through even murky waters. Unlike a single beam echosounder (also known as a depth sounder or fathometer) that releases a single sound pulse in a single, narrow beam and “listens” for the return echo, a multibeam system emits a multidirectional...Huizinga, Richard J.; Heimann, David C.
A history of trade routes and water-level regulation on waterways in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA
Unlike most national parks, main access to Voyageurs National Park is by boat. This remote system of interconnected waterways along the USA-Canada border was an important transportation route for thousands of years of American Indian occupation, leading up to and including the trade route of the voyageurs, or French-Canadian fur traders from...Christensen, Victoria G.; LaBounty, Andrew E.
GIS-based method for estimating surficial groundwater levels in coastal Virginia using limited information
In many coastal areas, high water tables are present, complicating installation of some stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that rely on infiltration. Regional estimates of the seasonal high water table (SHWT) often rely on sources such as soil surveys taken over a decade ago; these data are static and do not account for groundwater...Johnson, R.D.; Sample, David J.; McCoy, Kurt J.
The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.
Monitoring Ramseys Draft at Route 716 near West Augusta
This digital elevation model was created using structure from motion software mounted to an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to analyze bridge scour. Studies using UAS have included stream temperature analyses, bird and mammal surveys, coastal change mapping, sandbar habitat surveys, fluvial erosion rates, microclimate mapping, air quality analysis, plant stress assessment,...
Monitoring Roanoke River along Route 626 at Lafayette, VA
Monitoring Spruce Creek at Route 627 near Nellysford, VA
Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) collecting digital photos to create digital elevation models. UAS are an increasingly important tool for monitoring, assessing, and conducting targeted scientific research for the nation.
Groundwater use from the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system, 1900 to 2010” is a short video showing modeled groundwater withdrawal rates from the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system (Ozark system) in the central United States. The Ozark Plateaus Groundwater Availability Study aims to quantify current groundwater resources in the Ozark system, evaluate how these resources have changed...
Is this cemetery haunted? Probably not, but there could be tiny things moving beyond the grave. The USGS sampled groundwater downhill of Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan, to find out if materials associated with decomposition and burial processes could affect groundwater quality near a cemetery. More science is needed to answer that question, but the preliminary...
Streamflow and groundwater levels are declining in some locations along the San Pedro River near Sierra Vista, Arizona, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Future groundwater replenishment in the Upper Colorado River Basin may benefit from projected increases in future basin-wide precipitation under current climate projections, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation.
A new interactive map and companion report from the U.S. Geological Survey allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they’re located in relation to postwildfire debris-flow hazards.
Two new streamgages recently installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the cities of Greenfield and Elwood, Indiana will provide continuous, real-time streamflow and water level information in areas that have demonstrated a need for reliable flood warning and flood-related data.
Scientists to test the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake
To gain insights into the risks associated with uranium mining and processing, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are investigating how uranium moves into and up food chains.
Forty years ago on July 31, as Coloradoans and tourists celebrated the state’s centennial, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains below the resort town of Estes Park, killing 143 people. The 1976 Big Thompson flood stands as the worst natural disaster in Colorado’s recorded history.