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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 wateruse and availability.
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
Sustaining the quality of the Nation's water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. In 1991, Congress established the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) to address where, when, why, and how the Nation's water quality has changed, or is likely to change in...
The Sediment Monitoring Instrument and Analysis Research Workshop, sponsored by the Federal Interagency Subcommittee on Sedimentation, was held September 9-11, 2003, in Flagstaff, Arizona. The workshop focused on advanced technologies and analytical techniques for measuring, storing, analyzing, and disseminating suspended-sediment, bedload, bed-material, bedform properties, and water clarity...
The Turbidity and Other Sediment Surrogates Workshop, sponsored by the Federal Interagency Subcommittee on Sedimentation, was held April 30-May 2, 2002, in Reno, Nevada. This workshop focused on the use of turbidity and other technologies to infer suspended-sediment concentrations in surface water.
Expanding Sediment Research Capabilities in Today's USGS (workshop), Reston, VA and Harpers Ferry, WV, 1997
Proceedings of the USGS sediment workshop "Expanding Sediment Research Capabilities in Today's USGS", held February 4-7, 1997, in Reston, Virgina, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This workshop drew together the four Divisions of the USGS -- Geologic, National Mapping, Water Resources, and Biological -- to focus on the common denominator of sediment research and monitoring.
Proceedings of the "Sediment Technology for the 21st Century" federal interagency workshop, held February 17-19, 1998, in St. Petersburg, Florida. This workshop was held to bring better focus to sediment technology needs and development activities of, or relevant to, the U.S. Government.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a Decree in State of New Jersey v. State of New York and City of New York in which the Court designated the position of the Delaware River Master. The Court directed that the River Master perform multiple duties and functions in administering the Decree, including the conserving the waters of the river and the Delaware River watershed; compiling data on...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) started its first streamgage in 1889 on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico to help determine if there was adequate water for irrigation purposes to encourage new development and western expansion. The National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) was started in 2002 in response to Congressional and stakeholder concerns about the ongoing decrease in the number...
The USGS next-generation water observing system will provide high-fidelity, real-time data on water quantity and quality necessary to support modern water prediction and decision support systems for water emergencies and daily water operations. The Delaware River Basin pilot provides an opportunity to develop the NextGen observing system in a nationally important, complex interstate river...
The USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) supports the water-resource monitoring efforts of USGS scientists and other Federal scientists by providing quality-assured hydrologic equipment and instrumentation support.
Water Chemistry Data for Selected Springs, Geysers, and Streams in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Beginning 2009
Results of water analyses conducted on numerous thermal and non-thermal features in Yellowstone National Park beginning in 2009. Water samples were collected and analyzed as part of research investigations on arsenic, iron, nitrogen, and sulfur redox species in hot springs and overflow drainages; the occurrence and distribution of dissolved mercury; and general hydrogeochemistry of hot springs...
The enhanced probability of catastrophic wildfires has increased our need to understand the risk of floods, erosion, and debris and contaminant transport in burned watersheds. This project investigates the relation between rainfall intensity and peak discharge; erosion and deposition processes; and water-quality impacts to minimize the loss of life and property resulting from post-wildfire...
The banner picture shows it all — Superhighways! Streets and pavement! Driveways! House roofs! These are all "impervious surfaces"; impervious to the water from precipitation. When it rains in this locale, water no longer seeps into the ground, but now runs off into storm sewers and then quickly into local creeks. Localized flooding is too often the result.
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
Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.
Percentage of sandy beaches very likely (probability > 0.9) to experience erosion associated with collision, overwash, and inundation during category 1-5 hurricane landfall.
Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane.
Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.
SWaTH is a system of flood-hardened, real-time telemetered tide gages, rapid deployment gages, and storm tide sensors deployed in integrated network configurations along the Northeastern Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Maine.
USGS Flood Inundation Maps , along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage, provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood-response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.
This tool produces shapefiles that contain the delineated basins, basin characteristics, and flow statistics for multiple sites requested at once by users. Before this tool can be used, the the points of interest will likely need to be edited in GIS so that they are coincident with the stream grid used by StreamStats for delineations and saved to a shapefile.
The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters. NWIS provides access to real-time and historical water-resources data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Maximum likelihood logistic regression is used to estimate drought probabilities for selected Virginia rivers and streams. Hydrologic drought streamflow probabilities for summer months are provided as functions of streamflows during the previous winter months. This application allows the display and query of these drought streamflow probabilities for Virginia streams.
Downloadable spatial data files for exploration and analysis.
The clickable sites, Water Resources Conditions List, and Data Table at the bottom of the map are all connected. Interacting with any of them will activate pop-ups and display the site in both the Map, List and Table.
This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in Virginia. Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) threaten the reproductive success and long-term survival of sensitive aquatic populations in the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). The project employs a standardized EDC risk assessment framework to link new and ongoing research efforts in individual Parks and in Park Monitoring Networks, in order to provide a service-wide assessment of EDC risk in the NPS.
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)
Effects of ferric sulfate and polyaluminum chloride coagulation enhanced treatment wetlands on Typha growth, soil and water chemistry
Land surface subsidence is a concern in many deltas worldwide as it contributes to water quality degradation, loss of fertile land and increased potential for levee failure. As a possible solution to these concerns, on-site coagulation enhanced treatment wetlands(CETWs), coagulation water treatment followed by wetland...Ling Liang, Yan; Kraus, Tamara E. C.; Silva, Lucas C. R.; Bachand, Philip A. M.; Bachand, Sandra M.; Doane, Timothy A.; Horwath, William R.
Hydrologic conditions in Kansas, water year 2017
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies, maintains a long-term network of hydrologic monitoring stations in Kansas. These data and associated analyses provide a unique overview of the hydrologic conditions and help improve the understanding of Kansas’ water resources. Yearly assessments of hydrologic...Lukasz, Bradley S.
Weathering of oil in a surficial aquifer
The composition of crude oil in a surficial aquifer was determined in two locations at the Bemidji, MN, spill site. The abundances of 71 individual hydrocarbons varied within 16 locations sampled. Little depletion of these hydrocarbons (relative to the pipeline oil) occurred in the first 10 years after the spill, whereas losses of 25% to 85% of...Baedecker, Mary Jo; Eganhouse, Robert P.; Qi, Haiping; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Trost, Jared J.; Bekins, Barbara A.
Continuing progress toward a national assessment of water availability and use
Executive SummaryThe Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111—11) was passed into law on March 30, 2009. Subtitle F, also known as the SECURE Water Act, calls for the establishment of a “national water availability and use assessment program” within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS issued the first report on the...Evenson, Eric J.; Jones, Sonya A.; Barber, Nancy L.; Barlow, Paul M.; Blodgett, David L.; Bruce, Breton W.; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle; Farmer, William H.; Fischer, Jeffrey M.; Hughes, William B.; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Kiang, Julie E.; Maupin, Molly A.; Reeves, Howard W.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Stanton, Jennifer S.; Wagner, Chad R.; Wilson, Jennifer T.
Streamflow contributions from tribal lands to major river basins of the United States
While many studies on tribal water resources of individual tribal lands in the United States (US) have been conducted, the importance of tribal water resources at a national scale has largely gone unrecognized because their combined totals have not been quantified. Thus, we sought to provide a numerical estimate of major water budget components on...Blasch, Kyle; Hundt, Stephen; Wurster, Patrick; Sando, Thomas R.; Berthelote, Antony
Changes in Earth’s gravity reveal changes in groundwater storage
Changes in the amount of water stored in underground aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Gravity Program has developed methods for measuring terrestrial gravity changes with part-per-billion precision. The measurements allow scientists to map changes in groundwater storage and to...Kennedy, Jeffrey R.
Selected trace-elements in alluvium and rocks, western Mojave Desert, southern California
Concentrations of twenty-seven elements, including naturally-occurring water-quality contaminants arsenic, chromium, and uranium, were measured in 217 samples of alluvium and rock from the western Mojave Desert, southern California, using portable (pXRF) and laboratory (LXRF) X-ray fluorescence. Comparison of measurements with NIST-traceable...Groover, Krishangi D.; Izbicki, John A.
Methods used to reconstruct historical daily streamflows in northern New Jersey and southeastern New York, water years 1922–2010
A study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to reconstruct streamflows for use in the RiverWare model. Methods and data used to estimate daily reconstructed streamflows at 53 sites in selected subbasins in northern New Jersey and southeastern New York are presented...Hickman, R. Edward; McHugh, Amy R.
Multiphase flow and underpressured shale at the Bruce nuclear site, Ontario, Canada
Hydraulic testing has revealed dramatic underpressures in Paleozoic shales and carbonates at the Bruce nuclear site in Ontario. Although evidence from both laboratory and field studies suggests that a small amount of gas-phase methane could be present in the shale, previous studies examining causal linkages between the gas phase and the...Plampin, Michael R.; Neuzil, Christopher E.
Tidal flushing of mercury from the Bremerton Naval Complex through the PSNS015 stormwater drain system to Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington, 2011 -12
The sediments of Sinclair Inlet, in Puget Sound, Washington, have elevated levels of contaminants including mercury. The Bremerton Naval Complex is adjacent to Sinclair Inlet, and has known areas of historical soil mercury contamination. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, has been investigating the potential for mercury...Conn, Kathleen E.; Paulson, Anthony J.; Dinicola, Richard S.; DeWild, John F.
Leveraging big data towards functionally-based, catchment scale restoration prioritization
The persistence of freshwater degradation has necessitated the growth of an expansive stream and wetland restoration industry, yet restoration prioritization at broad spatial extents is still limited and ad-hoc restoration prevails. The River Basin Restoration Prioritization tool has been developed to incorporate vetted, distributed data models...Lovette, John P.; Duncan, Jonathan M.; Smart, Lindsey S.; Fay, John P.; Urban, Dean L.; Daly, Nancy; Blackwell, Jamie; Hoos, Anne B.; García, Ana María; Band, Lawrence E.
High-water marks from Hurricane Sandy for coastal areas of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, October 2012
Because coastal areas in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts were heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), under a mission agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, collected storm tide high-water marks in those coastal areas. This effort was undertaken to better understand the...Ostiguy, Lance J.; Sargent, Timothy C.; Izbicki, Brittney J.; Bent, Gardner C.
Software and related material (data and documentation) are made available by the USGS to be used in the public interest and the advancement of science.
iRIC (International River Interface Cooperative) is a river flow and riverbed variation analysis software package which combines the functionality of MD_SWMS (Multi-Dimensional Surface-Water Modeling System), developed by the USGS, and RIC-Nays, developed by the Foundation of Hokkaido River Disaster Prevention Research Center.
The Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD) uses the framework of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Modular Modeling System (MMS) to simulate fluxes of water and solutes through watersheds. WEBMOD divides watersheds into model response units (MRU) where fluxes and reactions are simulated for several hillslope reservoir types.
What’s New: A new version of the SPARROW code is being developed in the R programming language. The advantage of R is that it is non-proprietary and does not require a license or software cost. The R – SPARROW code is now being completed and should be available early in CY18. Stay Tuned.
SELDM is a database application where users can easily create and run highway-runoff simulations. SELDM simulates storm flows, concentrations, and loads. SELDM calculates the risk of exceeding water-quality criteria with and without user-defined BMPs. SELDM calculates annual runoff loads and is able to do a simple annual lake-loading analysis.
CE-QUAL-W2 is a water quality and hydrodynamic model in 2D (longitudinal-vertical) for rivers, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs and river basin systems. W2 models basic eutrophication processes such as temperature-nutrient-algae-dissolved oxygen-organic matter and sediment relationships.
GCLAS is a program designed primarily to compute daily and annual loadings of constituents transported in streamflow.
The HYDROTHERM computer program simulates multi-phase ground-water flow and associated thermal energy transport in three dimensions. It can handle high fluid pressures, up to 1 x 10^9 Pa (104 atm), and high temperatures, up to 1,200 °C.
MODFLOW-USG model of groundwater flow in the Wood River Valley aquifer system in Blaine County, Idaho
Model archive for Wood River Valley groundwater-flow model
The R package wrv is for processing the groundwater-flow model of the Wood River Valley (WRV) aquifer system, south-central Idaho. The groundwater-flow model is described in the associated model report and model archive. Included in the package is MODFLOW-USG version 1.3, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) computer code that solves the groundwater-flow equation.
In 1977, the Congress of the United States recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) to complement the Survey's data on the availability and quality of the Nations water resources.
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.
Trends in population and freshwater withdrawals by source, 1950–2015
Trends in total water withdrawals by water-use category, 1950–2015
The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.
USGS Installing About 160 Storm-Tide Sensors Along North and South Carolina Coasts Before Hurricane Florence Arrives
Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS crew as they work in the field to install storm-tide sensors before Hurricane Florence’s arrival?
If so, please contact John Shelton for NC and SC at 803-750-6112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-Harvey Report Provides Inundation Maps and Flood Details on “Largest Rainfall Event Recorded in US History”
Nineteen inundation maps and detailed flood information from Hurricane Harvey are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in U.S. history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, since records began in the 1880s.
This Thursday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA will test new technologies near Parkdale, Colorado, located west of Cañon City, to better understand how unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, may be used to measure water depth, water levels and velocity from the sky.
No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.
New research has revealed significant changes to Alaska’s landscape in recent decades
Real-time water-quality, streamflow and water height information for Lake Houston and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed are now available from a new web application from the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the City of Houston.
Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 19, in Rapid City, South Dakota.