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: 164
Date published: January 7, 2005

Water Use in Alabama, by Watershed, 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...

Date published: January 2, 2005

Water use, by category of use, in Alabama, 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More surface water than ground water was withdrawn for all categories except aquaculture, mining, and self-supplied residential.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;...

Date published: January 1, 2005

Water Use in Alabama, 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...

Date published: January 1, 2005

Water use, by county, in Alabama, 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...

Date published: September 10, 2004

Fivemile Creek - Brownfield Assessment

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...

Date published: September 29, 2001

Alabama Statewide Flood Frequency

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...

Date published: January 1, 2001

Water Use in Louisiana

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,...

Date published: September 1, 1977

Arkansas Water Use Program

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: 14,548
Year Published: 2018

Data analysis considerations for pesticides determined by National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437

In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) made a new method available for the analysis of pesticides in filtered water samples: laboratory schedule 2437. Schedule 2437 is an improvement on previous analytical methods because it determines the concentrations of 225 fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and...

Shoda, Megan E.; Nowell, Lisa H.; Stone, Wesley W.; Sandstrom, Mark W.; Bexfield, Laura M.
Shoda, M.E., Nowell, L.H., Stone, W.W., Sandstrom, M.W., and Bexfield, L.M., 2018, Data analysis considerations for pesticides determined by National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5007, 458 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185007.

Year Published: 2018

Evaluating micrometeorological estimates of groundwater discharge from Great Basin desert playas

Groundwater availability studies in the arid southwestern United States traditionally have assumed that groundwater discharge by evapotranspiration (ETg) from desert playas is a significant component of the groundwater budget. However, desert playa ETg rates are poorly constrained by Bowen Ratio energy budget (BREB) and eddy-covariance (EC)...

Jackson, Tracie; Halford, Keith J.; Gardner, Philip

Year Published: 2018

Common hydraulic fracturing fluid additives alter the structure and function of anaerobic microbial communities

The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) resources results in the production of large volumes of wastewater containing a complex mixture of hydraulic fracturing chemical additives and components from the formation. The release of these wastewaters into the environment poses potential risks that are poorly understood. Microbial...

Mumford, Adam C.; Akob, Denise M.; Klinges, J. Grace; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.
Mumford AC, Akob DM, Klinges JG, Cozzarelli IM. 2018. Common hydraulic fracturing fluid additives alter the structure and function of anaerobic microbial communities. Appl Environ Microbiol 84:e02729-17

Year Published: 2018

Factors affecting long-term trends in surface-water quality in the Gwynns Falls watershed, Baltimore City and County, Maryland, 1998–2016

Factors affecting water-quality trends in urban streams are not well understood, despite current regulatory requirements and considerable ongoing investments in gray and green infrastructure. To address this gap, long-term water-quality trends and factors affecting these trends were examined in the Gwynns Falls, Maryland, watershed during 1998–...

Majcher, Emily H.; Woytowitz, Ellen L.; Reisinger, Alexander J.; Groffman, Peter M.
Majcher, E.H., Woytowitz, E.L., Reisinger, A.J., and Groffman, P.M., 2018, Factors affecting long-term trends in surface-water quality in the Gwynns Falls watershed, Baltimore City and County, Maryland, 1998–2016: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1038, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181038.

Year Published: 2018

Water-quality, bed-sediment, and biological data (October 2015 through September 2016) and statistical summaries of data for streams in the Clark Fork Basin, Montana

Water, bed sediment, and biota were sampled in selected streams from Butte to near Missoula, Montana, as part of a monitoring program in the upper Clark Fork Basin of western Montana. The sampling program was led by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to characterize aquatic resources in the...

Dodge, Kent A.; Hornberger, Michelle I.; Turner, Matthew A.
Dodge, K.A., Hornberger, M.I., and Turner, M.A., 2018, Water-quality, bed-sediment, and biological data (October 2015 through September 2016) and statistical summaries of data for streams in the Clark Fork Basin, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1136, 118 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171136.

Year Published: 2018

Guidelines for determining flood flow frequency—Bulletin 17C

Accurate estimates of flood frequency and magnitude are a key component of any effective nationwide flood risk management and flood damage abatement program. In addition to accuracy, methods for estimating flood risk must be uniformly and consistently applied because management of the Nation’s water and related land resources is a collaborative...

England, John F.; Cohn, Timothy A.; Faber, Beth A.; Stedinger, Jery R.; Thomas, Wilbert O.; Veilleux, Andrea G.; Kiang, Julie E.; Mason, Robert R.
England, J.F., Jr., Cohn, T.A., Faber, B.A., Stedinger, J.R., Thomas, W.O., Jr., Veilleux, A.G., Kiang, J.E., and Mason, R.R., Jr., 2018, Guidelines for determining flood flow frequency—Bulletin 17C: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 4, chap. B5, 148 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm4B5.

Year Published: 2018

Influence of governance structure on green stormwater infrastructure investment

Communities are faced with the challenge of meeting regulatory requirements mandating reductions in water pollution from stormwater and combined sewer overflows (CSO). Green stormwater infrastructure and gray stormwater infrastructure are two types of water management strategies communities can use to address water pollution. In this study, we...

Hopkins, Kristina G.; Grimm, Nancy B.; York, Abigail M.
Hopkins, K.G., N.B. Grimm, A.M. York. 2018. Influence of governance structure on green stormwater infrastructure investment. Environmental Science and Policy, 84: 124-133.

Year Published: 2018

Flood-inundation and flood-mitigation modeling of the West Branch Wapsinonoc Creek Watershed in West Branch, Iowa

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the city of West Branch and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site of the National Park Service assessed flood-mitigation scenarios within the West Branch Wapsinonoc Creek watershed. The scenarios are intended to demonstrate several means of decreasing peak streamflows and improving the...

Cigrand, Charles V.
Cigrand, C.V., 2018, Flood-inundation and flood-mitigation modeling of the West Branch Wapsinonoc Creek Watershed in West Branch, Iowa: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5002, 36 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185002.

Year Published: 2018

Groundwater quality in the Mokelumne, Cosumnes, and American River Watersheds, Sierra Nevada, California

Groundwater provides more than 40 percent of California’s drinking water. To protect this vital resource, the State of California created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The GAMA Program’s Priority Basin Project assesses the quality of groundwater resources used for drinking water supply and increases public...

Fram, Miranda S.; Shelton, Jennifer L.
Fram, M.S., and Shelton, J.L., 2018, Groundwater quality in the Mokelumne, Cosumnes, and American River Watersheds, Sierra Nevada, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1047, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181047.

Year Published: 2018

The role of frozen soil in groundwater discharge predictions for warming alpine watersheds

Climate warming may alter the quantity and timing of groundwater discharge to streams in high alpine watersheds due to changes in the timing of the duration of seasonal freezing in the subsurface and snowmelt recharge. It is imperative to understand the effects of seasonal freezing and recharge on groundwater discharge to streams in warming alpine...

Evans, Sarah G.; Ge, Shemin; Voss, Clifford I.; Molotch, Noah P.

Year Published: 2018

Model methodology for estimating pesticide concentration extremes based on sparse monitoring data

This report describes a new methodology for using sparse (weekly or less frequent observations) and potentially highly censored pesticide monitoring data to simulate daily pesticide concentrations and associated quantities used for acute and chronic exposure assessments, such as the annual maximum daily concentration. The new methodology is based...

Vecchia, Aldo V.
Vecchia, A.V., 2018, Model methodology for estimating pesticide concentration extremes based on sparse monitoring data: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5159, 47 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175159.

Year Published: 2018

Natural and man-made hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), in groundwater near a mapped plume, Hinkley, California—study progress as of May 2017, and a summative-scale approach to estimate background Cr(VI) concentrations

This report describes (1) work done between January 2015 and May 2017 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), background study and (2) the summative-scale approach to be used to estimate the extent of anthropogenic (man-made) Cr(VI) and background Cr(VI) concentrations near the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG...

Izbicki, John A.; Groover, Krishangi D.
Izbicki, J.A., and Groover, K., 2018, Natural and man-made hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), in groundwater near a mapped plume, Hinkley, California—study progress as of May 2017, and a summative-scale approach to estimate background Cr(VI) concentrations: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1045, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181045.

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: 1,059
Wading the Maumee River near Defiance, Ohio- Stephanie Kula is collecting water-quality sample for W. Lake Erie Basin project
May 18, 2017

Collecting water-quality sample by wading in the Maumee River, Ohio

Stephanie Kula is collecting water-quality sample by wading in the Maumee River near Defiance, Ohio, for the Western Lake Erie Basin project. Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment from urban and agricultural practices are a concern in the Western Lake Erie Basin watersheds in northwestern Ohio. Large

...
Housing structure for USGS Stream gage with Clear Fork Mohican River in the background
May 11, 2017

USGS Stream gage at Clear Fork Mohican River at Bellville, OH

USGS Stream gage located at 03131982 Clear Fork Mohican River at Bellville, OH 

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey
May 5, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
USGS Hydrologist collecting GPR data
May 4, 2017

Pulling GPR

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. Using hydrogeophysical tools such as GPR enables scientists to collect images of the structure and conditions of the ice below them.

Attribution: Water Resources
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor
May 3, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor 2
May 3, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor 2

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
USGS Hydrologic Technician performing wire weight measurement during record flood at USGS gage 7018500
May 1, 2017

USGS Employee Performing Measurement In Record Flood At Gage 7018500

USGS employee Aaron Walsh performing wire weight measurement in record flood at gage 7018500 Big River at Byrnesville, MO

Attribution: Water Resources
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Team with Sensor
May 1, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Team with Sensor

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Hydro techs use q boat to make streamflow measurement
April 30, 2017

Remote Control Streamflow Measurement

Scientists from the USGS Albuquerque Field Office use an ADCP mounted on a remotely-controlled Q boat to measure the streamflow of the Rio Grande near Bosque Farms. Use of the Q boat allows our hydro techs to safely and quickly respond to flood events that may threaten the public. The Q boat also saves time and manpower as compared to traditional measurement methods.

...
USGS hydrologic technician Christopher Rowden verifies the accuracy of streamgage information at the Jacks Fork River.
April 30, 2017

USGS Measures Record Flooding in Missouri

USGS hydrologic technician Christopher Rowden verifies the accuracy of streamgage information at the Jacks Fork River at Eminence, Missouri.

USGS hydrologic technician measures floodwaters along Flat Creek near Jenkins, Missouri.
April 30, 2017

USGS Measures Record Flooding in Missouri

USGS hydrologic technician measures floodwaters along Flat Creek near Jenkins, Missouri using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling instrument. 

Filter Total Items: 367
Date published: August 15, 2016

Groundwater Recharge in Upper Colorado River Basin May Hold Steady Under Climate Change

Future groundwater replenishment in the Upper Colorado River Basin may benefit from projected increases in future basin-wide precipitation under current climate projections, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation.

Date published: August 11, 2016

Discover Jemez Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards With the Click of a Mouse

A new interactive map and companion report from the U.S. Geological Survey allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they’re located in relation to postwildfire debris-flow hazards.

Date published: August 11, 2016

New USGS Streamgages Bolster Protection of Hoosier Lives, Property

Two new streamgages recently installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the cities of Greenfield and Elwood, Indiana will provide continuous, real-time streamflow and water level information in areas that have demonstrated a need for reliable flood warning and flood-related data.  

Date published: August 8, 2016

EarthWord–Turbidity

This EarthWord is clear as mud...

Date published: August 8, 2016

Indiana-Kentucky Spring-Summer 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the fourth installment or the “Spring-Summer 2016” version of the IN-KY Newsletter. 

Date published: August 4, 2016

Living Organisms Take Up Uranium from their Environment

To gain insights into the risks associated with uranium mining and processing, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are investigating how uranium moves into and up food chains.

Date published: August 1, 2016

EarthWord–Fluvial

This EarthWord sounds like some flu meds, but it’s closer to runny rivers than runny noses...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: July 25, 2016

Big Thompson Canyon Floods of 1976 and 2013: A Tale of Two Deadly and Destructive Weather Events

 

Forty years ago on July 31, as Coloradoans and tourists celebrated the state’s centennial, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains below the resort town of Estes Park, killing 143 people. The 1976 Big Thompson flood stands as the worst natural disaster in Colorado’s recorded history.

Date published: July 19, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

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

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: July 18, 2016

EarthWord–Fugitive

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