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: 186
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: 15,169
Year Published: 2018

Simulated effects of groundwater withdrawals from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system and Piney Point aquifer, Maurice and Cohansey River Basins, Cumberland County and vicinity, New Jersey

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, conducted a study to simulate the effects of withdrawals from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system on streamflow and groundwater flow and from the Piney Point aquifer on water levels in the Cohansey and Maurice River Basins in Cumberland County...

Gordon, Alison D.; Buxton, Debra E.
Gordon, A.D., and Buxton, D.E., 2018, Simulated effects of groundwater withdrawals from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system and Piney Point aquifer, Maurice and Cohansey River Basins, Cumberland County and vicinity, New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5144, 93 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175144.

Year Published: 2018

Methods for peak-flow frequency analysis and reporting for streamgages in or near Montana based on data through water year 2015

This report documents the methods for peak-flow frequency (hereinafter “frequency”) analysis and reporting for streamgages in and near Montana following implementation of the Bulletin 17C guidelines. The methods are used to provide estimates of peak-flow quantiles for 50-, 42.9-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent annual exceedance...

Sando, Steven K.; McCarthy, Peter M.
Sando, S.K., and McCarthy, P.M., 2018, Methods for peak-flow frequency analysis and reporting for streamgages in or near Montana based on data through water year 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5046, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185046.

Year Published: 2018

Compilation and analysis of multiple groundwater-quality datasets for Idaho

Groundwater is an important source of drinking and irrigation water throughout Idaho, and groundwater quality is monitored by various Federal, State, and local agencies. The historical, multi-agency records of groundwater quality include a valuable dataset that has yet to be compiled or analyzed on a statewide level. The purpose of this study is...

Hundt, Stephen A.; Hopkins, Candice B.
Hundt, S.A., and Hopkins, C.B., 2018, Compilation and analysis of multiple groundwater-quality datasets for Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1079, 3 p., plus presentation, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181079.

Year Published: 2018

Integrating adaptive management and ecosystem services concepts to improve natural resource management: Challenges and opportunities

Executive Summary—OverviewNatural resource managers must make decisions that affect broad-scale ecosystem processes involving large spatial areas, complex biophysical interactions, numerous competing stakeholder interests, and highly uncertain outcomes. Natural and social science information and analyses are widely recognized as important for...

Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S.; Boyd, James W.; Macauley, Molly K.; Scarlett, Lynn; Shapiro, Carl D.; Williams, Byron K.
Epanchin-Niell, R.S., Boyd, J.W., Macauley, M.K., Scarlett, Lynn, Shapiro, C.D., and Williams, B.K., 2018, Integrating adaptive management and ecosystem services concepts to improve natural resource management—Challenges and opportunities: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1439, 62 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1439.

Year Published: 2018

Response to comment by Walker et al. on “From data to decisions: Processing information, biases, and beliefs for improved management of natural resources and environments”

Our different kinds of minds and types of thinking affect the ways we decide, take action, and cooperate (or not). The comment by Walker et al. (2018, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000750) illustrates several points made by Glynn et al. (2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016EF000487) and many other articles. Namely, biases and beliefs often...

Glynn, Pierre D.; Voinov, Alexey A.; Shapiro, Carl D.; White, Paul A.

Year Published: 2018

Soil moisture datasets at five sites in the central Sierra Nevada and northern Coast Ranges, California

In situ soil moisture datasets are important inputs used to calibrate and validate watershed, regional, or statewide modeled and satellite-based soil moisture estimates. The soil moisture dataset presented in this report includes hourly time series of the following: soil temperature, volumetric water content, water potential, and total soil water...

Stern, Michelle A.; Anderson, Frank A.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Flint, Alan L.
Stern, M.A., Anderson, F.A., Flint, L.E., and Flint, A.L., 2018, Soil moisture datasets at five sites in the central Sierra Nevada and northern Coast Ranges, California: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1083, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1083.

Year Published: 2018

Characterization of stormwater runoff from bridge decks in eastern Massachusetts, 2014–16

The quality of stormwater runoff from bridge decks (hereafter referred to as “bridge-deck runoff”) was characterized in a field study from August 2014 through August 2016 in which concentrations of suspended sediment (SS) and total nutrients were monitored. These new data were collected to supplement existing highway-runoff data collected in...

Smith, Kirk P.; Sorenson, Jason R.; Granato, Gregory E.
Smith, K.P., Sorenson, J.R., and Granato, G.E., 2018, Characterization of stormwater runoff from bridge decks in eastern Massachusetts, 2014–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5033, 73 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185033.

Year Published: 2018

Bioactive contaminants of emerging concern in National Park waters of the northern Colorado Plateau, USA

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), wastewater indicators (WWIs), and pesticides (herein, Contaminants of Emerging Concern [CECs]) have been documented in surface waters throughout the world and have associated risks to aquatic life. While much research has focused on temperate and urbanized watersheds, less is known about CEC...

Weissinger, Rebecca H; Blackwell, Brett R.; Keteles, Kristen; Battaglin, William A.; Bradley, Paul M.
Weissinger, R.H., B.R. Blackwell, K. Keteles, W.A. Battaglin, P.M. Bradley. Contaminants of emerging concern in national park waters of the northern Colorado Plateau, USA. Science of the Total Environment. 636: 910-918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.332

Year Published: 2018

Groundwater-level data from an earthen dam site in southern Westchester County, New York

In 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey began a cooperative study with New York City Department of Environmental Protection to characterize the local groundwater-flow system and identify potential sources of seeps on the southern embankment of the Hillview Reservoir in Westchester County, New York. Groundwater levels were collected at 49 wells at...

Noll, Michael L.; Chu, Anthony
Noll, M.L., and Chu, Anthony, 2018, Groundwater-level data from an earthen dam site in southern Westchester County, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1075, 35 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1075.

Year Published: 2018

Wetlands receiving water treated with coagulants improve water quality by removing dissolved organic carbon and disinfection byproduct precursors

Constructed wetlands are used worldwide to improve water quality while also providing critical wetland habitat. However, wetlands have the potential to negatively impact drinking water quality by exporting dissolved organic carbon (DOC) that upon disinfection can form disinfection byproducts (DBPs) like trihalomethanes (...

Hansen, Angela M.; Kraus, Tamara E. C.; Bachand, Sandra M.; Horwath, William R.; Bachand, Philip A.M.
Hansen AM, Kraus TEC, Bachand SM, Horwath WR, Bachand PAM. Wetlands receiving water treated with coagulants improve water quality by removing dissolved organic carbon and disinfection byproduct precursors. Science of The Total Environment 2018; 622–623: 603-613.

Year Published: 2018

Book review: Handbook of cyanobacterial monitoring and cyanotoxin analysis

Review of Meriluoto, Jussi, Lisa Spoof, and GeoffreyA. Codd [eds.]. 2017. Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester, West Sussex, UK, ISBN 978‐1‐119‐06868‐6 (978‐1‐119‐06876‐1 eBook), DOI 10.1002/9781119068761.

Graham, Jennifer L.; Loftin, Keith A.
Graham, J.L. and Loftin, K.A., 2018, Book Review - Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis: Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, 25(2), p. 61-62.

Year Published: 2018

Discharge, sediment, and water chemistry in Clear Creek, western Nevada, water years 2013–16

Clear Creek is a small stream that drains the eastern Carson Range near Lake Tahoe, flows roughly parallel to the Highway 50 corridor, and discharges to the Carson River near Carson City, Nevada. Historical and ongoing development in the drainage basin is thought to be affecting Clear Creek and its sediment-transport characteristics. Previous...

Huntington, Jena M.; Riddle, Daniel J.; Paul, Angela P.
Huntington, J.M., Riddle, D.J., and Paul, A.P., 2018, Discharge, sediment, and water chemistry in Clear Creek, western Nevada, water years 2013–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific-Investigations Report 2018–5050, 55 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185050.

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: 1,240
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 31, 2017

Servicing a Streamgage at Addicks Reservoir following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Jimmy Hopkins repairs a streamgage downstream of Addicks reservoir at Buffalo Bayou after flooding from Hurricane Harvey. This gauge is normally accessed on land from a platform on the side of a bridge.

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat throughout Harvey.
August 31, 2017

Servicing a water-quality monitor following Harvey

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout Harvey. 

Image shows USGS scientists planning their water quality work on a whiteboard
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling Planning Following Hurricane Harvey

A peek into a USGS planning meeting to coordinate water-quality sampling efforts in response to Harvey. This sampling effort is part of the federal government’s broad efforts to ensure public health and to support the state, tribal, and local response to the storm

Image shows USGS scientists in PFDs taking water quality samples from Lake Houston
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling on Lake Houston Following Hurricane Harvey

A USGS field crew takes water-quality samples on Lake Houston following Harvey.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a water quality monitor on a lake
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling on Lake Houston Following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout the storm.

A USGS scientist wearing a PFD measures flooding on the Guadalupe River
August 30, 2017

Measuring Hurricane Harvey Flooding on the Guadalupe River

USGS scientist Alec MacDonald takes flood measurements on the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017

Servicing the Streamgage at Addicks Reservoir

USGS scientist Tom Pistillo services the streamgage at Addicks Reservoir to ensure that accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows flooding around a streamgage at Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Flooding at Addicks Reservoir

USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows flooding at a streamgage site on Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Flooding at Addicks Reservoir

USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017

Servicing a Streamgage at Barker Reservoir Following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Tom Pistillo wades through the waters of Barker Reservoir to ensure accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows USGS scientists planning Hurricane Harvey response efforts
August 28, 2017

Planning Hurricane Harvey Response Efforts

Planning meeting at the USGS Gulf Coast Office.

Image shows a police car in a flooded roadway in Texas
August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Flooding on Buffalo Bayou at Piney Point

USGS field crews made multiple record high flood measurements on Aug. 27, including downstream of Addicks and Barker dam. Flood measurements near Addicks and Barker dam are critical for making public safety decisions, as 1.2 million people live downstream.

USGS hydrologic technicians Eric Boeding and Robert Ellis measured the height and speed of

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Filter Total Items: 376
Date published: July 12, 2016

Cape Cod susceptible to potential effects of sea-level rise

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

Date published: July 11, 2016

USGS to Discuss New Study on Potential for Groundwater to be Corrosive-Press Conference

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

Date published: June 27, 2016

Science-Based Tools Can Help Prevent Illness at Ohio and New York Beaches

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

Date published: June 22, 2016

New Study Quantifies Benefits of Agricultural Conservation in Upper Mississippi River Basin

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

Date published: June 21, 2016

Assessing Groundwater Over Time in Gaines, Terry and Yoakum Counties, Texas

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.

Date published: June 20, 2016

Thawing Permafrost Spells More than Climate Change for Earth’s Underground Layers

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.

Date published: June 17, 2016

USGS Uses Science Diplomacy and Collaboration to Advance Precipitation Monitoring in Cuba

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. 

Date published: June 17, 2016

New Tide Gauges Installed Along Virginia Beach’s Coastline

Virginia Beach residents and local emergency managers have a new tool to monitor storm tides and flooding this hurricane season with the installation of 10 new tide gauges by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: June 16, 2016

New USGS Streamgage Aims to Protect Hoosier Lives, Property

A new streamgage recently installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the city of Linton, Indiana, will provide continuous, real-time streamflow and water level data in an area that has demonstrated a need for reliable flood warning and flood-related data.  

Date published: June 11, 2016

EarthWord–Scour

We’ve scoured the Earth to bring you this week’s EarthWord...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: June 9, 2016

NOAA, USGS and partners predict an average ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico

Outlook incorporates multiple hypoxia models for the second year

Date published: June 7, 2016

This hurricane season, scientists bring wave action into the picture

New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches

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