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
The Mobile River Basin study is one of several NAWQA studies that began in Federal fiscal year 1997 (October 1996). Study planning and design, and analysis of existing data will be done during the first 2 years, which is consistent with all NAWQA studies. After the 2-year planning period, surface- and ground-water and biological data will be collected intensively for 3 years during a high-...
To make scientifically based water-resource decisions, elected officials, water managers, and the general public need additional information about the Wood River Valley aquifer system. A crucial part of this information is an improved understanding of the extent, thickness, and hydraulic properties of the aquifer—a hydrogeologic framework.
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...
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
National Water-Quality Assessment Project replicate surface water and groundwater pesticide data analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437, Water Years 2013-15.
Replicate water-quality samples are collected and prepared in the field and analyzed in the laboratory in identical ways so that they are considered to be the same in composition and analysis (Mueller and others, 2015). This data set includes one table of duplicate National Water-Quality Assessment Project (NAWQA) surface water and groundwater samples collected between October 1, 2012 and...
MODFLOW-2005 and PEST models used to simulate multiple-well aquifer tests and characterize hydraulic properties of volcanic rocks in Pahute Mesa, Nevada
A three-dimensional, groundwater-flow model (MODFLOW-2005) was developed to estimate the hydraulic
properties (e.g., transmissivity, hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, and specific storage) of volcanic rocks
in Pahute Mesa, Nye County, Nevada. The model was calibrated using parameter estimation (PEST) by
fitting estimated drawdowns to simulated drawdowns from 16 multiple...
Data for Biogeochemical and Physical Processes Controlling Mercury Methylation and Bioaccumulation in Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona, 2014-2015
This dataset includes the field measurements and laboratory analyses of surface water, seston, and sediment collected from Lake Powell, within Glen Canyon National Recreation area (GLCA), during high flow (May-June 2014) and low flow (August 2015) conditions. The study area includes 12-13 sampling sites that follow a transect spanning the entire length of the reservoir from the Colorado River...
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...
Field spikes were prepared at 207 stream and river sites as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project between December, 2012, and September, 2015. At the field site, a depth-and width-integrated environmental sample was collected, and one subsample of the environmental sample was spiked with a known amount of a spike mixture. Both the spiked...
Geospatial data for Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: Mean annual precipitation, elevation, watershed outlines, and rain gage locations
These geospatial data sets were developed as part of a new analysis of all known current and historical rain gages in the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico published in the journal article Murphy, S.F., Stallard, R.F., Scholl, M.A., Gonzalez, G., and Torres-Sanchez, A.J., 2017, Reassessing rainfall in the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: Local and global ecohydrological implications: PLOS One 12...
Methane and benzene in drinking-water wells overlying the Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, and Haynesville Shale hydrocarbon production areas
Groundwater samples were collected from domestic and public-supply wells in the Eagle Ford study area in 2015–16, in the Fayetteville study area in 2015, and in the Haynesville study area in 2014–15. One sample of produced water was collected from a gas well in the Haynesville Shale in Rusk County, Texas in 2010, and 5 samples of produced water were collected from oil and...
MODFLOW-NWT model used to simulate and assess groundwater flow and surface-water exchanges in lakes of the Northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, 2003 through 2013
A three-dimensional, steady-state groundwater-flow model representing 2003-13
mean hydrologic conditions was developed and calibrated to assess groundwater
and lake-water exchanges and the effects of groundwater withdrawals and
precipitation on water levels in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan
Area, Minnesota. The USGS groundwater-flow model program...
In 2015, the second of several Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA) was done in the southeastern United States. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment (SESQA) was a study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project. One of the objectives of the RSQA, and thus the SESQA, is to characterize the relationships between water-quality stressors and...
Partial release of iron, alkalinity, and oxygen data from Bemidji crude oil site, Minnesota 1993-2016
In a crude-oil-contaminated sandy aquifer at the Bemidji site in northern Minnesota, biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons resulted in transient increases in magnetic susceptibility under high water table conditions. The magnetic susceptibility subsequently decreased again when the water table dropped. This data set was assembled to illustrate the cause of the magnetic susceptibility...
Coefficient-based consistent mapping of imperviousness in the conterminous U.S. at 60-m resolution for 1974, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012
Anthropogenic impervious surfaces affect hydrology, water quality, and ecological health and are widely studied. Previous studies have been limited, however, by a lack of consistent representation of imperviousness nationally as a time series prior to 2001. This product presents estimated imperviousness at 60-meter spatial resolution, for the time periods 1974, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012....
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...
Characterization of peak streamflows and flood inundation of selected areas in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from the August and September 2017 flood resulting from Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, on August 25, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane with wind gusts exceeding 150 miles per hour. As Harvey moved inland, the forward motion of the storm slowed down and produced tremendous rainfall amounts over southeastern Texas, with 8-day rainfall amounts exceeding 60 inches in some locations,...Watson, Kara M.; Harwell, Glenn R.; Wallace, David S.; Welborn, Toby L.; Stengel, Victoria G.; McDowell, Jeremy S.
Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage
We use synoptic surveys of stream discharge, stable isotopes, and dissolved noble gases to identify the source of groundwater discharge to the Verde River in central Arizona. The Verde River more than doubles in discharge in Mormon Pocket over a 1.4 km distance that includes three discrete locations of visible spring input to the river and other...Beisner, Kimberly R.; Gardner, W. Payton; Hunt, Andrew G.
Methylmercury dynamics in Upper Sacramento Valley rice fields with low background soil mercury levels
Few studies have considered how methylmercury (MeHg, a toxic form of Hg produced in anaerobic soils) production in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields can affect water quality, and little is known about MeHg dynamics in rice fields. Surface water MeHg and total Hg (THg) imports, exports, and storage were studied in two commercial rice fields in the...Tanner, K. Christy; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Fleck, Jacob; Tate, Kenneth W.; Linquist, Bruce A.
Nutrient loads in the Lost River and Klamath River Basins, south-central Oregon and northern California, March 2012–March 2015
The U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation collected water-quality data from March 2012 to March 2015 at locations in the Lost River and Klamath River Basins, Oregon, in an effort to characterize water quality and compute a nutrient budget for the Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Reclamation Project. The study described in this report...Schenk, Liam N.; Stewart, Marc A.; Caldwell Eldridge, Sara L.
Status of selenium in south San Francisco Bay—A basis for modeling potential guidelines to meet National tissue criteria for fish and a proposed wildlife criterion for birds
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Aquatic Life and AquaticDependent Wildlife Criteria for Selenium (Se) in California’s San Francisco Bay and Delta (Bay-Delta) in June 2016. Here we apply the same modeling methodology—Ecosystem-Scale Selenium Modeling— to an assessment of conditions and documentation of food webs of south San...Luoma, Samuel N.; Presser, Theresa S.
Water-quality conditions with an emphasis on cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in the Kansas River, Kansas, July 2012 through September 2016
Cyanobacteria cause a multitude of water-quality concerns, including the potential to produce toxins and taste-and-odor compounds that may cause substantial economic and public health concerns, and are of particular interest in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that are used for drinking-water supply. Extensive cyanobacterial blooms typically do not...Graham, Jennifer L.; Foster, Guy M.; Williams, Thomas J.; Mahoney, Matthew D.; May, Madison R.; Loftin, Keith A.
Hydraulic tomography: 3D hydraulic conductivity and fracture network connectivity in a contaminated mudstone aquifer
No abstract available.Barrash, Warren; Tiedeman, Claire; Thrash, Colby; Patterson, Jeremy; Johnson, Carole D.
External quality assurance project report for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2015–16
The U.S. Geological Survey Precipitation Chemistry Quality Assurance project operated five distinct programs to provide external quality assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s (NADP) National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network during 2015–16. The National Trends Network programs include (1) a field audit...Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Martin, RoseAnn
Pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other bioactive contaminants in water, sediment, and tissue from Rocky Mountain National Park, 2012–2013
Pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other bioactive contaminants (BCs) are commonly detected in surface water and bed sediment in urban and suburban areas, but these contaminants are understudied in remote locations. In Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA, BCs may threaten the reproductive success and survival of native...Battaglin, William A.; Bradley, Paul M.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Journey, Celeste A.; Walsh, Heather L.; Blazer, Vicki S.
Cinnamon gulch revisited: Another look at separating natural and mining-impacted contributions to instream metal load
Baseline, premining data for streams draining abandoned mine lands is virtually non existent, and indirect methods for estimating premining conditions are needed to establish realistic, cost effective cleanup goals. One such indirect method is the proximal analog approach, in which premining conditions are estimated using data from nearby...Runkel, Robert L.; Verplanck, Philip; Kimball, Briant; Walton-Day, Katie
Comparison of U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation water-use reporting in the Colorado River Basin
The use of water in the United States is arguably one of the most important factors determining water availability at any specific place and time. Numerous local, State, and Federal entities develop, compile, and report water-use data, which can lead to confusing or conflicting information. This report was authored jointly by the U.S. Geological...Bruce, Breton; Prairie, James; Maupin, Molly A.; Dodds, Jeremy; Eckhardt, David; Ivahnenko, Tamara I.; Matuska, Paul; Evenson, Eric; Harrison, Alan
Estimates of water use and trends in the Colorado River Basin, Southwestern United States, 1985–2010
The Colorado River Basin (CRB) drains 246,000 square miles and includes parts of California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and all of Arizona (Basin States). This report contains water-use estimates by category of use for drainage basins (Hydrologic Unit Code 8; HUC‑8) within the CRB from 1985 to 2010, at 5-year intervals....Maupin, Molly A.; Ivahnenko, Tamara I.; Bruce, Breton
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.
Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts. White efflorescent salts form on the soil surface as water evaporates from the soil leaving the salt at the surface.
Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to...
Some days, measurements just can't be made... This is 03146500 Licking River near Newark. Licking County Highway department works diligently to clear an 80' x 40' log jam that was putting pressure on bridge piers. Adverse conditions like those pictured above are the norm for a hydro tech. On this day, the risk of debris floating down and getting caught on either the hydro...
Biologist, John T. makes a high water measurement at stream gage 03145484 Raccoon Creek near Granville, OH. High water measurements ensure accurate flood forecasting by NOAA for downstream citizens and property owners. These forecasts can help people prepare for the rising waters, help reduce property damages, and most importantly save lives.
Borehole nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an emerging geophysical method being applied to hydrogeology investigations. NMR is a quantitative geophysical method that can be used to make in situ assessments of porosity, water content, mobile and immobile water fraction, and estimates of permeability. While borehole NMR is commonly used in the oil and gas industry, it is...
Landsat satellites captured this image of Lake Erie during a harmful algal bloom event.
Before a hurricane, USGS Scientists undertake a data collection effort of a grand scale. They install a temporary mobile network of sensors along the coasts to collect additional data on the intensity of storm surge, one of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane. This effort provides critical information that allows various USGS partners and emergency responders to...
Jim Duda, USGS hydrologic technician, installs a Rapid-Deployment Gauge near the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, to monitor elevated water levels caused by Hurricane Jose. An RDG is a fully functional streamgage designed to be quickly deployed for real-time data monitoring of a stream or river in emergency situations. RDGs are indispensable tools used for flood...
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Idaho Power Company collected water, sediment, and biological samples from Brownlee Reservoir as part of an ongoing, cooperative study of mercury cycling in the Hells Canyon complex of reservoirs along the Snake River bordering Idaho and Oregon. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is also a partner in the study.
These interactive, mobile-friendly websites use maps of beach locations to indicate whether or not estimated bacteria levels exceed state safety standards.
USGS-USDA Modeling Research Show Up to 34% Reduction in Nitrogen from Agricultural Conservation Practices
A new report about how groundwater quality and quantity has changed in and around Gaines, Terry and Yoakum counties, Texas is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The thawing of the planet’s permafrost is replumbing arctic environments, creating several hydrologic consequences and possibly some opportunities according to a new study published in Vadose Zone.
Science diplomacy is the use of collaborations among nations to address common scientific problems and to build constructive international partnerships. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado recently used the science diplomacy tactic to initiate a ground-breaking international collaboration with the Nation of Cuba.
Virginia Beach residents and local emergency managers have a new tool to monitor storm tides and flooding this hurricane season with the installation of 10 new tide gauges by the U.S. Geological Survey.
A new streamgage recently installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the city of Linton, Indiana, will provide continuous, real-time streamflow and water level data in an area that has demonstrated a need for reliable flood warning and flood-related data.
Outlook incorporates multiple hypoxia models for the second year
New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches
Highest concentrations found in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.