Mission Areas

Water Resources

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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.

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Filter Total Items: 167
Wetlands on the Fort A.P. Hill reservation are all freshwater
Date Published: September 23, 2009

Wetlands in the Bayou aux Carpes area, south of New Orleans, La., currently are isolated from direct inflow of storm water runoff by levees and spoil banks. The USACE is considering removal of a spoil bank that would allow storm-water runoff to flow through and across the wetlands. . The wetlands consist of floating marshes, with a predominately organic substrate, and forested wetlands, some...

Simulation showing how geoelectric vectors (black)
Date Published: April 18, 2009

Saltwater encroachment has been detected in six aquifers, including the "1,500-foot" and "2,000-foot" sands, north of the Baton Rouge fault in East Baton Rouge Parish. The encroachment is in response to ground-water withdrawals, primarily for public supply and industrial uses, in Baton Rouge. Additional information is needed for water planners and managers in the Baton Rouge area to make...

Contacts: Charles Heywood
Five Mile Canoeing
Date Published: January 7, 2005

The Black Warrior - Cahaba Rivers Land Trust and City of Tarrant (as part of the Fivemile Creek Greenway Partnership) are among the new USGS cooperators for 2003 -04. These organizations are spearheading an effort to restore Fivemile Creek in Jefferson County to its place as an important asset in daily lives for those who live and work along the creek in northern Jefferson County. The Greenway...

Total withdrawals in million gallons per day by watershed
Date Published: January 7, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. Decision and policy makers must know the answers to three fundamental questions: where is the...

Total freshwater withdrawals in Alabama, 2005
Date Published: January 2, 2005

More surface water than ground water was withdrawn for all categories except aquaculture, mining, and self-supplied residential. During 2005, estimated withdrawals by category and in descending order were: thermoelectric power, 8,274 Mgal/d; public supply, 802 Mgal/d; self-supplied industrial, 550 Mgal/d; irrigation, 161 Mgal/d; aquaculture, 75 Mgal/d; self-supplied residential, 39 Mgal/d;...

rows of herbicide treated crops
Date Published: January 1, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. Decision and policy makers must know the answers to three fundamental questions: where is the...

Water use, by county, in Alabama, 2005
Date Published: January 1, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. Decision and policy makers must know the answers to three fundamental questions: where is the...

Five Mile Canoeing
Date Published: September 10, 2004

In June, 2004, the Black Warrior - Cahaba Rivers Land Trust (Land Trust) was awarded a Brownfield Grant from the Region 4 US Environmental Protection Agency for 2005. The Land Trust will utilize funding from the Brownfield Assessment Grant program to perform assessment of sites which may have handled hazardous substances from former industrial or commercial activities. The Land Trust is...

Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana
Date Published: September 29, 2001

The magnitude and frequency of floods are important factors in the design of bridges, culverts, highway embankments, dams, and other hydraulic structures near streams. Information on flood magnitude and frequency is also used in flood plain management and development, and in establishing flood insurance rates. The objective of this project is to develop improved methods and equations for...

Crops at a farm in Kansas
Date Published: January 1, 2001

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), has collected and published information on water withdrawals and use on a 5-year basis since 1960. The reports present information on withdrawals from ground- and surface-water sources for use in water supply, industry, power generation, rural domestic, livestock,...

Water Use Site Retrieval Page Icon
Date Published: September 1, 1977

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. Since 1985 site-specific water-use data for several categories have...

Filter Total Items: 1,556
Year Published: 2016

Agricultural pesticide use estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014

The National Water Quality Network (NWQN) for Rivers and Streams includes 113 surface-water river and stream sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Program (NWQP). The NWQN represents the consolidation of four historical national networks: the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, the USGS...

Baker, Nancy T.
Attribution: Water Resources
Nancy T. Baker, 2016, Agricultural Pesticide Use Estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release, https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7FF3QHP

Year Published: 2016

An experimental study of the role of subsurface plumbing on geothermal discharge

In order to better understand the diverse discharge styles and eruption intervals observed at geothermal features, we performed three series of laboratory experiments with differing plumbing geometries. A single, straight conduit that connects a hot water bath (flask) to a vent (funnel) can originate geyser-like periodic eruptions, continuous...

Namiki, Atsuko; Ueno, Yoshinori; Hurwitz, Shaul; Manga, Michael; Munoz-Saez, Carolina; Murphy, Fred
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2016

Climate change and the Delta

Anthropogenic climate change amounts to a rapidly approaching, “new” stressor in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta system. In response to California’s extreme natural hydroclimatic variability, complex water-management systems have been developed, even as the Delta’s natural ecosystems have been largely devastated. Climate change is projected to...

Dettinger, Michael; Anderson, Jamie; Anderson, Michael L.; Brown, Larry R.; Cayan, Daniel; Maurer, Edwin P.
Dettinger, M., Anderson, J., Anderson, M., Brown, L., Cayan, D., and Maurer, E., 2016, Climate change and the Delta: San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, 26 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2016v14iss3art5

Year Published: 2016

Comment on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing”

Moseley et al. (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) postulate an increase in dissolved thorium isotope 230Th with depth below the water table as the explanation for the differing ages of Termination II. Flow of geothermal water through the Devils Hole caverns precludes this explanation. Deposition of younger secondary calcite into the initial...

Winograd, Isaac J.
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2016

Genome sequence of the photoarsenotrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9, isolated from a hypersaline alkaline arsenic-rich extreme environment

The full genome sequence of Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9 is reported here. This purple sulfur bacterium encodes an arxA-type arsenite oxidase within the arxB2AB1CD gene island and is capable of carrying out “photoarsenotrophy” anoxygenic photosynthetic arsenite oxidation. Its genome is composed of 3.5 Mb and has approximately 63% G+C...

Hernandez-Maldonado, Jaime; Stoneburner, Brendon; Boren, Alison; Miller, Laurence; Rosen, Michael R.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Saltikov, Chad W
Attribution: Water Resources
Hernandez-Maldonado J, Stoneburner B, Boren A, Miller L, Rosen M, Oremland RS, Saltikov CW. 2016. Genome sequence of the photoarsenotrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9, isolated from a hypersaline alkaline arsenic-rich extreme environment. Genome Announc 4(5):e01139-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01139-16

Year Published: 2016

High nitrate concentrations in some Midwest United States streams in 2013 after the 2012 drought

Nitrogen sources in the Mississippi River basin have been linked to degradation of stream ecology and to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. In 2013, the USGS and the USEPA characterized water quality stressors and ecological conditions in 100 wadeable streams across the midwestern United States. Wet conditions in 2013 followed a severe drought in 2012, a...

Van Metre, Peter C.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Musgrove, MaryLynn; Nakagaki, Naomi; Qi, Sharon L.; Mahler, Barbara J.; Wieczorek, Michael; Button, Daniel T.
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2016

Isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (IUPAC Technical Report)

There are 63 chemical elements that have two or more isotopes that are used to determine their standard atomic weights. The isotopic abundances and atomic weights of these elements can vary in normal materials due to physical and chemical fractionation processes (not due to radioactive decay). These variations are well known for 12 elements (...

Coplen, Tyler B.; Shrestha, Yesha
Attribution: Water Resources
Coplen, T. B., Shrestha, Y., 2016, Isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (IUPAC Technical Report): Pure and Applied Chemistry, v. 88, p. 1203-1224. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pac-2016-0302

Year Published: 2016

New organic reference materials for hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements: caffeines, n-alkanes, fatty acid methyl esters, glycines, L-valines, polyethylenes, and oils

An international project developed, quality-tested, and determined isotope−δ values of 19 new organic reference materials (RMs) for hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements, in addition to analyzing pre-existing RMs NBS 22 (oil), IAEA-CH-7 (polyethylene foil), and IAEA-600 (caffeine). These new RMs enable users to normalize...

Schimmelmann, Arndt; Qi, Haiping; Coplen, Tyler B.; Brand, Willi A.; Fong, Jon; Meier-Augenstein, Wolfram; Kemp, Helen F.; Toman, Blaza; Ackermann, Annika; Assonov, Sergey; Aerts-Bijma, Anita; Brejcha, Ramona; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Darwish, Tamim; Elsner, Martin; Gehre, Matthias; Geilmann, Heike; Gröning, Manfred; Hélie, Jean-François; Herrero-Martín, Sara; Meijer, Harro A.J.; Sauer, Peter E.; Sessions, Alex L.; Werner, Roland A.
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2016

Perspectives on bay-delta science and policy

The State of Bay–Delta Science 2008 highlighted seven emerging perspectives on science and management of the Delta. These perspectives had important effects on policy and legislation concerning management of the Delta ecosystem and water exports. From the collection of papers that make up the State of Bay–Delta Science 2016, we derive another...

Healey, Michael; Dettinger, Michael; Norgaard, Richard
Healey, M., Dettinger, M., and Norgaard, R., 2016, Perspectives on Bay-Delta Science and Policy: San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 14(4), 25 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2016v14iss4art6

Year Published: 2016

Revisiting human-environment interactions in Chaco Canyon and the American Southwest

Chaco Canyon was the center of a regionally integrated system. Despite a century of research, questions remain about its rise and fall, and the role of human-environment interactions. The answers may lie in current events and new tools and perspectives.

Betancourt, Julio L.; Guiterman, Christopher H.
Attribution: Water Resources
Betancourt, J.L., and Guiterman, C.H., 2017, Revisiting human-environment interactions in Chaco Canyon and the American Southwest. PAGES Magazine, 24 (2) , 64-65, doi: 10.22498/pages.24.2.64

Year Published: 2016

Statistically extracted fundamental watershed variables for estimating the loads of total nitrogen in small streams

Accurate estimation of total nitrogen loads is essential for evaluating conditions in the aquatic environment. Extrapolation of estimates beyond measured streams will greatly expand our understanding of total nitrogen loading to streams. Recursive partitioning and random forest regression were used to assess 85 geospatial, environmental, and...

Kronholm, Scott C.; Capel, Paul D.; Terziotti, Silvia
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2016

U.S. national categorical mapping of building heights by block group from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data

This dataset is a categorical mapping of estimated mean building heights, by Census block group, in shapefile format for the conterminous United States. The data were derived from the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which collected “first return” (top of canopy and buildings) radar data at 30-m resolution in February, 2000 aboard the Space...

Falcone, James A.
Attribution: 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.

Filter Total Items: 886
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of entering the starting edge information in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of importing a SonTek RSSL measurement into SVMobile. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of collecting an under ice station in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
Technicians install a rapid deployment gage on a bridge base.
2016 (approx.)
USGS hydrologic technician Jym Chapman (above) installs a rapid deployment gauge to measure water-surface elevation and other data in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, prior to Hurricane Matthew’s approach in October 2016. Hydrologist Tim Pojunas (below) measures an elevation reference point used to calibrate the newly installed RDG. The data collected by RDGs are transmitted in real time by...
2016 (approx.)
Along the Atlantic Coast, a 2000+ ft deep hole has been drilled by the USGS to assess the issues of groundwater pumping, relative sea-level rise, and land subsidence. This video shows the drilling of the first extensometer to measure land subsidence in the North Atlantic Coastal Plain in 30+ years. Land subsidence has been observed at various locations in the southern Chesapeake Bay region at...
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of accounting for open water flow angles in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will briefly review how to enable the RiverSurveyor Stationary Live software for field operation, enabling it for use. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will highlight the important data quality indicators in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of setting up a measurement using the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will outline the process of setting up an under ice measurement in the TRDI SxS Pro software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of editing vertical information using the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of collecting an open water station in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
Filter Total Items: 357
A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
July 19, 2016

Over the last 30 years in the United States, how many people have died—on average—per year from floods?

Image shows a man standing ankle-deep in a stream with an orange sampler
July 18, 2016

“Whatcha gonna do when they come for you”-thinks this week’s EarthWord...

Image shows a map of all 50 states color-coded for their potential for groundwater corrosivity
July 13, 2016

An analysis of more than 20,000 wells nationwide shows 25 states have groundwater that has either high or very high potential to be corrosive...

USGS scientists use a boat and geophysical equipment to record geological and hydrological conditions in a coastal embayment.
July 12, 2016

New USGS study highlights Cape Cod's risk to rising sea levels

USGS
July 11, 2016

On Wednesday, July 13, USGS will release a nationwide study that ranks states’ potential for having corrosive groundwater.

USGS
June 27, 2016

These interactive, mobile-friendly websites use maps of beach locations to indicate whether or not estimated bacteria levels exceed state safety standards. 

Image shows a harvested field in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
June 22, 2016

USGS-USDA Modeling Research Show Up to 34% Reduction in Nitrogen from Agricultural Conservation Practices

USGS
June 21, 2016

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.

Permafrost area, Beaver Creek, Alaska.
June 20, 2016

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.

USGS: Science for a changing world
June 17, 2016

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.