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

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Date published: November 3, 2020

USGS Program Tackles Complex Water Questions

The U.S. Geological Survey has chosen the Illinois River Basin as the next watershed to be studied by its scientists as part of a large-scale effort to better understand the nation’s water systems.

Date published: October 23, 2020

Common insecticide is more harmful to aquatic ecosystems than previously thought

The insecticide fipronil and some of the compounds it degrades to are more toxic to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and stoneflies, than previously estimated, reports a new study from the USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment.


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Year Published: 2021

Trends in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment concentrations and loads in streams draining to Lake Tahoe, California, Nevada, USA

Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake of the eastern Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada, has 63 tributaries that are sources of nutrients and sediment to the lake. The Tahoe watershed is relatively small, and the surface area of the lake occupies about 38% of the watershed area (1313 km2). Only about 6% of the watershed is urbanized or...

Domagalski, Joseph L.; Morway, Eric D.; Alvarez, Nancy L.; Hutchins, Juliet; Rosen, Michael R.; Coats, Robert

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Year Published: 2021

Hydrocarbons to carboxyl-rich alicyclic molecules: A continuum model to describe biodegradation of petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter in contaminated groundwater plumes

Relationships between dissolved organic matter (DOM) reactivity and chemical composition in a groundwater plume containing petroleum-derived DOM (DOMHC) were examined by quantitative and qualitative measurements to determine the source and chemical composition of the compounds that persist downgradient. Samples were collected from a transect down...

Podgorski, David C.; Zito, Phoebe; Kellerman, Anne M.; Bekins, Barbara A.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Smith, Donald F.; Cao, Xiaoyan; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus; Wagner, Sasha; Stubbins, Aron; Spencer, Robert G. M.
Attribution: Water Resources

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Year Published: 2021

Complexity of groundwater age mixing near a seawater intrusion zone based on multiple tracers and Bayesian inference

Aquifer flow systems near seawater interfaces can be complicated by density-driven flows and the formation of stagnation zones, which inevitably introduces uncertainty into groundwater age-dating. While age-dating has proved effective to understand the seawater intrusion and aquifer salinization process in coastal aquifers, further efforts are...

Ju, YeoJin; Massoudieh, Arash; Green, Christopher; Lee, Kang-Kun; Kaown, Dugin
Attribution: Water Resources