Mission Areas

Water Resources

Water information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and effective management of the Nation’s water resources. The USGS works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability.

USGS Water Data for the Nation

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites across all 50 states.

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Message from the Associate Director for Water

Message from the Associate Director for Water

Learn more about the WMA from Dr. Don Cline, the Associate Director for Water Resources.


Popular Water Data and Tools

Explore our science by the topical areas that drive the research and projects conducted by our Programs.

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Water Quality Portal

National Groundwater Monitoring Network Data Portal


Groundwater Watch



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Date published: April 11, 2019

Salinity Cycles in Lower Colorado River Caused by Precipitation Patterns in Upper Basin

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

Date published: April 8, 2019

Public Invitation: Learn the Latest on Your Water Resources in the Dakotas

News media and the public are invited to a free meeting about critical South Dakota-area water issues on Thursday, April 11, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Date published: April 5, 2019

Media Advisory: USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in Fargo

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding in and near Fargo, North Dakota? Please contact Dave Ozman, Marisa Lubeck or Chris Laveau.


Year Published: 2019

Use of a Numerical Model to Simulate the Hydrologic System and Transport of Contaminants Near Joint Base Cape Cod, Western Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Historical training and operational activities at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) on western Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have resulted in the release of contaminants into an underlying glacial aquifer that is the sole source of water to the surrounding communities. Remedial systems have been installed to contain and remove contamination from the aquifer....

Walter, Donald A.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Fienen, Michael N.
Walter, D.A., McCobb, T.D., and Fienen, M.N., 2019, Use of a numerical model to simulate the hydrologic system and transport of contaminants near Joint Base Cape Cod, western Cape Cod, Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5139, 98 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185139.

Year Published: 2019

Groundwater-Level Elevations in the Denver Basin Bedrock Aquifers of Elbert County, Colorado, 2015–18

Public and domestic water supplies in Elbert County, Colorado, rely on groundwater withdrawals from five bedrock aquifers in the Denver Basin aquifer system (lower Dawson, upper Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe, and Laramie-Fox Hills) to meet water demands. Increased pumping in response to regional population growth and development has led to declining...

Penn, Colin A.; Everett, Rhett R.
Penn, C.A., and Everett, R.R., 2019, Groundwater-level elevations in the Denver Basin bedrock aquifers of Elbert County, Colorado, 2015–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5014, 50 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195014.

Year Published: 2019

Drought Forecasting for Streams and Groundwaters in Northeastern United States

BackgroundWhen rainfall is lower than normal over an extended period, streamflows decline, groundwater levels fall, and hydrological drought can occur. Droughts can reduce the water available for societal needs, such as public and private drinking-water supplies, farming, and industry, and for ecological health, such as maintenance of water...

Austin, Samuel H.; Dudley, Robert W.
Austin, S.H., and Dudley, R.W., 2019, Drought forecasting for streams and groundwaters in northeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3015, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193015.