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 FIM Toolbox contains comprehensive information on the Flood Inundation Mapping program, including how to develop a flood inundation map library. This section of the FIM Toolbox provides information on how to prepare your FIM report. The Toolbox is updated as new resources become available.
The FIM Toolbox contains comprehensive information on the Flood Inundation Mapping program, including how to develop a flood inundation map library. Resources include process documents, scientific and technical requirements, forms and templates, outreach and educational materials, and contact information. The FIM Toolbox is updated as new resources become available.
Is pure water really clear? Not really—even pure water is not colorless, but has a slight blue tint to it. In the natural world you often see water that is definitely not clear. Sediment and organics color natural water shades of brown or green. And if too much iron in present, even your drinking water can have a brown hue. Read on to investigate water color in the environment.
You don't often think that water bodies contain oxygen, but water does contain a small amount of dissolved oxygen. A small amount, but it is essential for life in the water. Biological oxygen demand (BOD) generally represents how much oxygen is needed to break down organic matter in water.
Water, like everything else on Earth, including you, is full of bacteria. Some bacteria are beneficial and some are not. Escherichia coli (E coli) bacteria, found in the digestive tract of animals, can get into the environment, and if contacted by people, can cause health problems and sickness. Find out the details here.
The USGS has a long history of cooperative investigations with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and state highway agencies to provide data and information to address various issues related to water resources and the Nation’s transportation infrastructure. These issues cover a wide spectrum and include items such as regional flow statistics, flood documentation, regional stream...
Development of Regional Curves Relating Bankfull-Channel Geometry and Discharge to Drainage Area for Hydrophysiographic Regions in Wyoming
The Watershed Program in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wyoming Water Science Center developed regional curves that relate bankfull channel dimensions and discharge to drainage area for hydrophysiographic regions in Wyoming where data are currently lacking. Regional curves are useful aids for estimating bankfull discharge and related channel dimensions at ungaged sites,...
Clifford Voss was selected as the 2015 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer by the Geological Society of America. Cliff, an internationally recognized expert in groundwater modeling, has over 35 years of project management, implementation, field work and research experience in groundwater systems. Upon request, Cliff will present general-audience lectures on groundwater or ground ice/...
Expertise in large river research provides science information to inform decisions on river management and restoration in the Midwest Region. Connectivity is a fundamental concept in river ecology and refers to opportunities for water to flow along and through riverine ecosystems. It is considered one of the primary drivers of river productivity, biological diversity and ecosystem health.
In cooperation with the Wyoming State Engineer, the USGS conducted a study of the water resources of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. This study followed the general plan of previous "County Studies". Surface water and ground water resources were evaluated through a combined approach that analyzed and summarized existing data and, as a consequence of the data analysis, identified key data gaps and...
Streamflow Statistics for Unregulated and Regulated Conditions for Selected Locations on the Yellowstone, Tongue, Powder, and Bighorn Rivers, Montana
Major floods in 1996-1997 on the Yellowstone River intensified public debate over the effects of human activities on the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone River Conservation District Council partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a cumulative-effects study on the Yellowstone. For that study, the USGS calculated streamflow statistics for unregulated (no development) and...
For over three decades, the USGS has maintained a program of research and observation in San Francisco Bay, including regular measurements of water quality along a 145-kilometer transect spanning the length of the entire estuarine system from the South San Francisco Bay to the Sacramento River.
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
MODFLOW-NWT datasets for simulations of groundwater and surface-water in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service,
has investigated the hydrology of the Great Dismal Swamp (Swamp) National Wildlife Refuge
(Refuge) in Virginia and North Carolina and developed a three-dimensional numerical model to
simulate groundwater and surface-water hydrology. The model was developed with
MODFLOW-NWT, a USGS...
Survey of major and trace elements in stormwater runoff from across the United States, 2016 to 2017.
This study focuses on providing a broad-scale assessment of composition of water chemistry in urban stormwater runoff. The stormwater runoff is a source of recharge to groundwater by Green Infrastructure (GI) practices or it may become a source of recharge to groundwater to reduce stormwater volumes to surface waters or augment groundwater supply. The chemical composition of the stormwater...
Monthly Time Series of Precipitation, Air Temperature, and Net Radiation for 2,673 Gaged River Basins Worldwide
This is the first of two datasets containing derived data necessary to reproduce the results of the associated journal article: "On the Sensitivity of Annual Streamflow to Air Temperature." This first dataset contains basic basin characteristics of 2,673 gaged basins worldwide, along with associated monthly time series of basin-mean precipitation, air temperature, and net radiation. The...
This dataset provides model specifications used to estimate metabolism. The format is a table with 1 row per model (1 tab-delimited file, compressed into zip file). The specific format of this configuration file is arbitrary and specific to this analysis, and the format need not be replicated to use streamMetabolizer; however, this tabular format is useful because it allows for the reading by...
The temperature and surface geophysical data contained in this release have primarily been collected to support groundwater/surface water methods development, and to characterize the hydrogeological controls on native brook trout habitat. All data have been collected since 2010 along the Quashnet River corridor located on Cape Cod, MA, USA. Cape Cod is a peninsula in southeastern coastal...
SUTRA model simulations used to evaluate heat flow from microbial activity at a crude oil-contaminated site.
A steady-state, two-dimensional, heat transport model was created using SUTRA,
version 2.2, modified to allow for spatially-variable thermal properties and density
and viscosity variation with temperature. The model includes physical and hydrologic
characteristics of the Bemidji Research Site, a crude-oil contaminated research site,
along with previous-published...
Phytoplankton Species Composition, Abundance and Cell Size in San Francisco Bay: Microscopic Analyses of USGS Samples, beginning in 2014
This Data Release makes available measurements of phytoplankton species composition, abundance and cell size made on samples collected in San Francisco Bay (CA) from January 2014 through December 2016. Whole water phytoplankton samples were collected at least monthly at fixed sampling stations along a 145-km transect where the variability of salinity, temperature, turbidity and nutrient...
Hyperspectral image data from the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, WY, were acquired on August 23, 2015 to support research on remote sensing of rivers, particularly retrieval of water depth, and to facilitate efforts to augment an image time series for characterizing channel change along the Snake River. These data were collected by the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI)...
The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) has monitored the concentrations of solutes in precipitation in the U.S. since 1978 for assessment of air pollution controls and the effects of air pollution deposited to the landscape. In 2009, the NADP added bromide (Br-) to its routine analytical schedules for its National Trends Network (NTN) and Atmospheric Integrated Research Monitoring...
Field measurements of water depth were acquired from a reach of the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, WY, August 19-24, 2015, to support research on channel change along the Snake River and, more broadly, remote sensing of rivers. The depth measurements included in this data release were obtained by wading the shallow channel margins and measuring the water depth directly on a top-...
The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a bathymetric survey of a reach of the Deschutes River near Bend, OR, between Benham Falls and Dillon Falls on July 25, 2016, to support research on remote sensing of river discharge and characterization of habitat for amphibians, particularly the Oregon Spotted Frog. The bathymetric survey data were obtained with an ITER Systems Bathyswath-1 468 kHz multi...
Tables and charts for isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (Ver. 1.1, May 2018)
Twelve chemical elements have intervals for their standard atomic weights, namely hydrogen, lithium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, sulfur, chlorine, bromine and thallium. Isotopic abundances, isotope-delta values, and atomic weights for each of the lower and upper bounds of materials and compounds of these 12 elements are tabulated. Version 1.1 is the most current...
Simulation of groundwater flow and analysis of projected water use for the Rush Springs aquifer, western Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, (1) quantified the groundwater resources of the Rush Springs aquifer in western Oklahoma by developing a numerical groundwater-flow model, (2) evaluated the effects of estimated equal-proportionate-share (EPS) pumping rates on aquifer...Ellis, John
Modeling hydrodynamics, water temperature, and water quality in Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2012–15
Executive SummaryLocated southwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Klamath Straits Drain is a 10.1-mile-long canal that conveys water uphill and northward through the use of pumps before discharging to the Klamath River. Klamath Straits Drain traverses an area that historically encompassed Lower Klamath Lake. Currently, the Drain receives water from...Sullivan, Annett B.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Groundwater chemistry and water-level elevations in bedrock aquifers of the Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds, Rio Blanco County, Colorado, 2013–16
The Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, are known to contain important energy resources (oil shale and natural gas) and mineral resources (nahcolite). The primary sources of fresh groundwater in the Piceance and Yellow Creek watersheds are bedrock aquifers in the Uinta and Green River Formations. The aquifers are...Thomas, Judith C.; McMahon, Peter B.
Water temperature in tributaries, off-channel features, and main channel of the lower Willamette River, northwestern Oregon, summers 2016 and 2017
The U.S. Geological Survey collected continuous water-temperature data in select tributaries of the lowermost 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Willamette River in northwestern Oregon, during summers 2016 and 2017. Point measurements of water temperature and water quality (dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, and pH) also were collected at...Mangano, Joseph F.; Piatt, David R.; Jones, Krista L.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Relating cyanobacteria and physicochemical water-quality properties in Willow Creek Lake, Nebraska, 2012–14
Cyanobacteria (also referred to as blue-green algae) are naturally present members of phytoplankton assemblages that may detract from beneficial uses of water because some strains produce cyanotoxins that pose health hazards to people and animals. Cyanobacteria populations observed in Willow Creek Lake during 2012 through 2014 were compared to...Rus, David L.; Hall, Brent M.; Thomas, Steven A.
Filtering of periodic infiltration in a layered vadose zone: 2. Applications and a freeware screening tool
We have developed a screening tool to visualize and conceptualize the filtering properties of a layered vadose zone. Climate projections indicate that rainfall timing and magnitude may change and impact groundwater resources. This increases the importance of understanding how the vadose zone filters infiltration variability and ultimately affects...Dickinson, Jesse E.; Ferre, T.P.A
Monitoring framework for evaluating hydrogeomorphic and vegetation responses to environmental flows in the Middle Fork Willamette, McKenzie, and Santiam River Basins, Oregon
This report summarizes a framework for monitoring hydrogeomorphic and vegetation responses to environmental flows in support of the Willamette Sustainable Rivers Program (SRP). The SRP is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide ecologically sustainable flows downstream of dams while...Wallick, J. Rose; Bach, Leslie B.; Keith, Mackenzie K.; Olson, Melissa; Mangano, Joseph F.; Jones, Krista L.
Deep aquifer recharge in the Columbia River Basalt Group, upper Umatilla River Basin, northeastern Oregon
Groundwater is an important component of the water resources of the upper Umatilla River Basin of northeastern Oregon. As such, understanding the capacity of the resource is vital. Past studies have estimated recharge in the study area. One recent study of the upper Umatilla River Basin indicated that about 80 percent of recharge entering the...Pischel, Esther M.; Johnson, Henry M.; Gingerich, Stephen B.
Land-cover changes associated with oil and natural-gas production and concentrations of selected constituents in surface-water and streambed-sediment samples collected upstream from and within an area of oil and natural-gas production, south Texas, 2008–17
The extensive development of oil and natural-gas resources in south Texas during the past 10 years has led to questions regarding possible environmental effects of processes associated with oil and natural-gas production, in particular the process of hydraulic fracturing, on water and other natural resources. Part of the lower San Antonio River...Crow, Cassi L.; Opsahl, Stephen P.; Pedraza, Diana E.; Pease, Emily C.; Kushnereit, Ross K.
Hydrology and hydrodynamics on the Sacramento River near the Fremont Weir, California—Implications for juvenile salmon entrainment estimates
Estimates of fish entrainment on the Sacramento River near the Fremont Weir are a critical component in determining the feasibility and design of a proposed notch in the weir to increase access to the Yolo Bypass, a seasonal floodplain of the Sacramento River. Detailed hydrodynamic and velocity measurements were made at a river bend near the...Stumpner, Paul R.; Blake, Aaron R.; Burau, Jon R.
Assessment of managed aquifer recharge at Sand Hollow Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, updated to conditions through 2016
Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated primarily for managed aquifer recharge by the Washington County Water Conservancy District. From 2002 through 2016, surface-water diversions of about 256,000 acre-feet (acre-ft) to Sand Hollow Reservoir have allowed the reservoir to remain nearly full...Marston, Thomas M.; Nelson, Nora C.
Effect of calcium on the bioavailability of dissolved uranium(VI) in plant roots under circumneutral pH
We integrated field measurements, hydroponic experiments, microscopy, and spectroscopy to investigate the effect of Ca(II) on dissolved U(VI) uptake by plants in 1 mM HCO3– solutions at circumneutral pH. The accumulation of U in plants (3.1–21.3 mg kg–1) from the stream bank of the Rio Paguate, Jackpile Mine, New Mexico served as a motivation...El Hayek, Eliane; Torres, Chris; Rodriguez-Freire, Lucia; Blake, Johanna M.; De Vore, Cherie L.; Brearley, Adrian J.; Spilde, Michael N.; Cabaniss, Stephen; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi S.; Cerrato, José M.
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.
Artesian Well, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, FL
Brackish water desalination facility in Harlingen, Texas. The plant was built in 2007 and has a capacity of 2.25 million gallons per day. Source: North Cameron Regional Water Supply Corporation
MODFLOW 6, the newest version of the world’s most widely used groundwater modeling software, is now available for download from the U.S. Geological Survey
BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — From Sept. 24 through 29, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will conduct dye tracer and aerial mapping studies on northern Idaho’s Kootenai River. Data from the studies will support Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho fisheries and river restoration projects.
When a major storm is on the horizon, the USGS uses its water monitoring, coastal change, mapping, and modeling expertise to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes and tropical storms.
Both precipitation and groundwater withdrawals, among other factors, influence lake-water levels in the northeast Twin Cities metropolitan area, and the extent of these changes vary among lakes, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
The U.S. Geological Survey has deployed storm-tide sensors, forecast what coastal change to expect, and is ready to measure the extent of flooding likely to result from this powerful storm, Hurricane Harvey. Click HERE for more information.
Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist.
U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.