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: September 21, 2017
Status: Active

Water Archive Library - Idaho National Laboratory

Since 1966, we have archived over 6000 samples of about 500 mL each of "raw" (unfiltered and unpreserved) water from groundwater and surface-water quality sites collected during our monitoring activities. Through the years, we've kept the water samples in a secure room and tracked which samples researchers have requested and analyzed for various projects.

Contact us for more information...

Date published: September 21, 2017
Status: Active

Core Storage Library - Idaho National Laboratory

Our Core Storage Library currently houses about 73,000 feet of core and several suites of cuttings from boreholes drilled at the INL. More cores and cuttings are added every year. The CSL also houses two suites of core and cuttings from the western Snake River Plain. In 2015, we added new core storage space in building CF 674. We recently...

Contacts: Mary K V Hodges
Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Geophyical Logging and Water-Quality Assessment for Project Hot Spot

Relatively little is known about the Yellowstone-Snake River "hotspot" system. To increase our knowledge, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program provided over $4.5 million of this $6.7 million project using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Contacts: Brian V Twining
Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Hydrologic Investigations near the Remote Handled Low-Level Waste Facility

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed a location for a new facility to store waste at the INL. In the unlikely event that waste leaks from the facility, it will be important to monitor whether the contamination reaches the aquifer and baseline information is need before the facility is built.

Because we need to know how water and contaminants may travel through the aquifer, we need...

Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Naval Reactors Facility Groundwater-Quality Monitoring

As part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, it is important to evaluate the effect of Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) activities on the water quality of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer.

Contacts: Gordon Rattray
Date published: September 19, 2017
Status: Active

Wood River Valley Groundwater-Flow Model

Rapid population growth in the Wood River Valley since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource. Water-resource planners and managers, as well as other decision makers, need a tool for water rights administration and water-resource management and planning.

Date published: September 11, 2017

Microplastics in Urban Streams of the Northeast Region

Microplastics in the environment are of increasing concern among resource managers and ecologists. With global production of plastic topping 300 million metric tons in 2015, research in fresh and marine waters throughout the world has implicated urban runoff, wastewater treatment effluent, and litter breakdown as major sources of microbeads and synthetic pieces and fibers that are slow to...

Contacts: Shawn C Fisher
Date published: August 30, 2017
Status: Active

Upper Klamath Basin Groundwater Studies

Since the late 1990s the USGS has worked to characterize the regional groundwater hydrology of the upper Klamath Basin. Research focuses on collecting data to help evaluate the state of the groundwater system and its response to external stresses, and to develop computer models to provide insights useful for water management. These efforts build on earlier USGS studies in the basin going back...

Date published: August 30, 2017

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

Date published: August 29, 2017
Status: Active

Upper Klamath Basin Studies

In 1992, the USGS began studying possible causes for the change in trophic status of Upper Klamath Lake. Since then research has expanded to include groundwater, geomorphology, streamflow forecasting, and fish ecology.

Date published: August 18, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Mercury in Fish Tissue, Boise and Snake Rivers and Brownlee Reservoir

To meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements, the City of Boise will be responsible for collecting fish tissue samples for mercury analysis upstream of and downstream of their wastewater treatment facilities discharging to the lower Boise and Snake Rivers.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that ultimately makes its way into aquatic...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 10, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Model for the Treasure Valley and Surrounding Area

in partnership with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB), we will construct a numerical groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley and surrounding area. Resource managers will use the model to simulate potential anthropogenic and climatic effects on groundwater for water-supply planning and management. As part of model construction, the...

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
Filter Total Items: 73
Date published: June 21, 2017

North Dakota Ground Water Data

Data from wells, springs, test holes, tunnels, drains, and excavations in North Dakota; well location data includes information such as latitude and longitude, well depth, and aquifer. Groundwater level data are collected and stored as either discrete field-water-level measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders.

Date published: May 22, 2017

Water use data for the South Atlantic Water Science Center (NWISWeb)

Water-use data are collected by area type (state, county, watershed, or aquifer) and source (rivers or groundwater), and category (such as public supply or irrigation). Water-use data has been reported every five years since 1950. The USGS works with local, State, and Federal agencies as well as other organizations to collect and report withdrawals.

...

Date published: March 24, 2017

USGS Sediment Data Portal

Identify, access, and interpret USGS discrete and (or) daily suspended sediment data suspended-sediment and related data. The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System (NWIS) is the original source for all suspended-sediment data provided in the portal.

Date published: February 2, 2017

North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC)

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) was created by the USGS Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) to provide users with high-quality digital microscopy photographs.

Date published: January 27, 2017

Lower Rio Puerco geospatial data, 1935 - 2014

A long-term study of the geomorphic history of the lower Rio Puerco arroyo in north-central New Mexico included the collection of high-precision (Real-time kinematic) GPS survey data (2002, 2007, 2010, and 2014), registration and rectification of historical aerial photographs (1935, 1950s, 1970s, and 1996), aerial LiDAR survey (2005) and post-flood (2006) satellite imagery.

Date published: October 14, 2016

USGS Water Data Discovery

Are you looking for data for today, in the past, or what might happen in the future? Discover USGS Water Data resources here!

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: September 28, 2016

Water Quality Monitor Network In Ohio

Stream water-quality characteristics provide scientists and water managers with a better understanding of the effects of natural and anthropogenic (human) activities on streams and ecosystems. The USGS operates a network of near-real-time water-quality monitoring stations that provide data for temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity of surface water.

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2003-2005 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2003-2005 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2013 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2013 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 1999-2000 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata: 1999-2000 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2009-2010 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2009-2010 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2007-2008 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata: 2007-2008 eSDT

 

Filter Total Items: 14,518
Year Published: 2018

Procedures for using the Horiba Scientific Aqualog® fluorometer to measure absorbance and fluorescence from dissolved organic matter

Advances in spectroscopic techniques have led to an increase in the use of optical measurements (absorbance and fluorescence) to assess dissolved organic matter composition and infer sources and processing. Although optical measurements are easy to make, they can be affected by many variables rendering them less comparable, including by...

Hansen, Angela; Fleck, Jacob; Kraus, Tamara; Downing, Bryan D.; von Dessonneck, Travis; Bergamaschi, Brian
Hansen, A.M., Fleck, J.A., Kraus, T.E.C., Downing, B.D., von Dessonneck, T., and Bergamaschi, B.A., 2018, Procedures for using the Horiba Scientific Aqualog® fluorometer to measure absorbance and fluorescence from dissolved organic matter: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1096, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181096.

Year Published: 2018

Characterization of peak streamflows and flood inundation of selected areas in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from the August and September 2017 flood resulting from Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, on August 25, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane with wind gusts exceeding 150 miles per hour. As Harvey moved inland, the forward motion of the storm slowed down and produced tremendous rainfall amounts over southeastern Texas, with 8-day rainfall amounts exceeding 60 inches in some locations,...

Watson, Kara M.; Harwell, Glenn R.; Wallace, David S.; Welborn, Toby L.; Stengel, Victoria G.; McDowell, Jeremy S.
Watson, K.M., Harwell, G.R., Wallace, D.S., Welborn, T.L., Stengel, V.G., and McDowell, J.S., 2018, Characterization of peak streamflows and flood inundation of selected areas in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from the August and September 2017 flood resulting from Hurricane Harvey: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5070, 44 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185070.

Year Published: 2018

Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage

We use synoptic surveys of stream discharge, stable isotopes, and dissolved noble gases to identify the source of groundwater discharge to the Verde River in central Arizona. The Verde River more than doubles in discharge in Mormon Pocket over a 1.4 km distance that includes three discrete locations of visible spring input to the river and other...

Beisner, Kimberly R.; Gardner, W. Payton; Hunt, Andrew G.
Beisner, K.R., Gardner, W.P., Hunt, A.G., (2018) Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage, Journal of Hydrology. vol. 564, p. 99-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.06.078

Year Published: 2018

Methylmercury dynamics in Upper Sacramento Valley rice fields with low background soil mercury levels

Few studies have considered how methylmercury (MeHg, a toxic form of Hg produced in anaerobic soils) production in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields can affect water quality, and little is known about MeHg dynamics in rice fields. Surface water MeHg and total Hg (THg) imports, exports, and storage were studied in two commercial rice fields in the...

Tanner, K. Christy; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Fleck, Jacob; Tate, Kenneth W.; Linquist, Bruce A.
Tanner, K.C., Windham-Myers, L., Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, M., Fleck, J.A., Tate, K.W., and Linquist, B.A., 2018, Methylmercury dynamics in upper Sacramento Valley rice fields with low background soil mercury levels: Journal of Environmental Quality, v. published / on-line.

Year Published: 2018

Nutrient loads in the Lost River and Klamath River Basins, south-central Oregon and northern California, March 2012–March 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation collected water-quality data from March 2012 to March 2015 at locations in the Lost River and Klamath River Basins, Oregon, in an effort to characterize water quality and compute a nutrient budget for the Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Reclamation Project. The study described in this report...

Schenk, Liam N.; Stewart, Marc A.; Caldwell Eldridge, Sara L.
Schenk, L.N., Stewart, M.A., and Eldridge, S.L.C., 2018, Nutrient loads in the Lost River and Klamath River Basins, south-central Oregon and northern California, March 2012–March 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5075, 55 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185075.

Year Published: 2018

Status of selenium in south San Francisco Bay—A basis for modeling potential guidelines to meet National tissue criteria for fish and a proposed wildlife criterion for birds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Aquatic Life and AquaticDependent Wildlife Criteria for Selenium (Se) in California’s San Francisco Bay and Delta (Bay-Delta) in June 2016. Here we apply the same modeling methodology—Ecosystem-Scale Selenium Modeling— to an assessment of conditions and documentation of food webs of south San...

Luoma, Samuel N.; Presser, Theresa S.
Luoma, S.N., and Presser, T.S., 2018, Status of selenium in south San Francisco Bay—A basis for modeling potential guidelines to meet National tissue criteria for fish and a proposed wildlife criterion for birds: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1105, 75 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181105.

Year Published: 2018

Water-quality conditions with an emphasis on cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in the Kansas River, Kansas, July 2012 through September 2016

Cyanobacteria cause a multitude of water-quality concerns, including the potential to produce toxins and taste-and-odor compounds that may cause substantial economic and public health concerns, and are of particular interest in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that are used for drinking-water supply. Extensive cyanobacterial blooms typically do not...

Graham, Jennifer L.; Foster, Guy M.; Williams, Thomas J.; Mahoney, Matthew D.; May, Madison R.; Loftin, Keith A.
Graham, J.L., Foster, G.M., Williams, T.J., Mahoney, M.D., May, M.R., and Loftin, K.A., 2018, Water-quality conditions with an emphasis on cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in the Kansas River, Kansas, July 2012 through September 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5089, 55 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185089.

Year Published: 2018

Hydraulic tomography: 3D hydraulic conductivity and fracture network connectivity in a contaminated mudstone aquifer

No abstract available.

Barrash, Warren; Tiedeman, Claire; Thrash, Colby; Patterson, Jeremy; Johnson, Carole D.

Year Published: 2018

External quality assurance project report for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2015–16

The U.S. Geological Survey Precipitation Chemistry Quality Assurance project operated five distinct programs to provide external quality assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s (NADP) National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network during 2015–16. The National Trends Network programs include (1) a field audit...

Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Martin, RoseAnn
Attribution: Water Resources
Wetherbee, G.A., and Martin, RoseAnn, 2018, External quality assurance project report for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2015–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5034, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185034.

Year Published: 2018

Pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other bioactive contaminants in water, sediment, and tissue from Rocky Mountain National Park, 2012–2013

Pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other bioactive contaminants (BCs) are commonly detected in surface water and bed sediment in urban and suburban areas, but these contaminants are understudied in remote locations. In Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA, BCs may threaten the reproductive success and survival of native...

Battaglin, William A.; Bradley, Paul M.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Journey, Celeste A.; Walsh, Heather L.; Blazer, Vicki S.
Battaglin, W.A., Bradley, P.M., Iwanowicz, L., Journey, C.A., Walsh, H.L., and Blazer, V.S., 2018, Pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other bioactive contaminants in water, sediment, and tissue from Rocky Mountain National Park, 2012–2013, Science of The Total Environment, v. 643, p. 651-673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.150.

Year Published: 2018

Cinnamon gulch revisited: Another look at separating natural and mining-impacted contributions to instream metal load

Baseline, premining data for streams draining abandoned mine lands is virtually non existent, and indirect methods for estimating premining conditions are needed to establish realistic, cost effective cleanup goals. One such indirect method is the proximal analog approach, in which premining conditions are estimated using data from nearby...

Runkel, Robert L.; Verplanck, Philip; Kimball, Briant; Walton-Day, Katie
Runkel, R.L., Verplanck, P.L., Kimball, B.A., Walton-Day, K., 2018, Cinnamon Gulch revisited: Another look at separating natural and mining-impacted contributions to instream metal load, Applied Geochemistry, v. 95, 206-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.04.010

Year Published: 2018

Comparison of U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation water-use reporting in the Colorado River Basin

The use of water in the United States is arguably one of the most important factors determining water availability at any specific place and time. Numerous local, State, and Federal entities develop, compile, and report water-use data, which can lead to confusing or conflicting information. This report was authored jointly by the U.S. Geological...

Bruce, Breton; Prairie, James; Maupin, Molly A.; Dodds, Jeremy; Eckhardt, David; Ivahnenko, Tamara I.; Matuska, Paul; Evenson, Eric; Harrison, Alan
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: 1,058
USGS Staff pose next to "First Gaging Station" sign
April 30, 2018

Rio Grande at Embudo, NM - First Gaging Station

Staff from the New Mexico Water Science Center pose next to the "First Gaging Station" sign after hosting a technical tour of the site as part of the 86th annual Western Snow Conference.

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference VSMOW
April 20, 2018

Reston stable isotope lab (RSIL): reference VSMOW

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference VSMOW

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Caps
April 20, 2018

Reston stable isotope lab (RSIL): reference caps

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Caps

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Hair
April 20, 2018

Reston stable isotope lab (RSIL): reference hair

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Hair

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Oil
April 20, 2018

Reston stable isotope lab (RSIL): reference oil

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Oil

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Powder
April 20, 2018

Reston stable isotope lab (RSIL): reference powder

Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Powder

USGS Storm-Tide Sensor
March 31, 2018

USGS Storm-Tide Sensor

USGS storm-tide sensor bolted to a cement jetty on the Atlantic Ocean coast at Fire Island, New York. USGS scientists deployed over 50 sensors along the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Delaware to study a Nor'easter that affected the Northeast in March of 2018.

Research Vessel (R/V) Polaris pilot house interior view.
March 23, 2018

Research Vessel (R/V) Polaris Pilot House

A view of the Research Vessel (R/V) Polaris' pilot house and wheel.

Attribution: Water Resources
USGS Active Groundwater Level Network 3.12.18
March 12, 2018

USGS Active Groundwater Level Network 3.12.18

USGS Active Groundwater Level Network 3.12.18

Attribution: Water Resources
USGS HUC Region Map
March 8, 2018

USGS HUC Region Map

USGS HUC Region Map

Attribution: Water Resources
aquarium
March 2, 2018

Atlanta Aquarium, Georgia

This million gallon aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia is home to thousands of saltwater fish, a couple of stingrays, giant grouper, and a whale shark!

February 27, 2018

Survey Requirements - Road Overflow/Broad-Crested Weir

This video describes how and where to flag high water marks for a road overflow or broad-crested weir indirect measurement of peak discharge. 
 

Filter Total Items: 367
Date published: September 5, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Irma

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: August 30, 2017

Science to Weather the Storm

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 30, 2017

USGS Response to Hurricane Harvey

The U.S. Geological Survey has deployed storm-tide sensors, forecast what coastal change to expect, and is ready to measure the extent of flooding likely to result from this powerful storm, Hurricane Harvey. Click HERE for more information.

Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist. 

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist. 

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Prepares for Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 24, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Storm-tide sensors are being installed at key locations along the Texas Gulf Coast by the U.S. Geological Survey in advance of Hurricane Harvey.

Date published: August 9, 2017

Pesticides Prevalent in Midwestern Streams

One hundred small streams in the Midwest were tested for pesticides during the 2013 growing season and found to contain, on average, 52 pesticides per stream

Date published: July 26, 2017

USGS Releases New JavaScript Library to Create Location Search Widgets for Web Applications

The U.S. Geological Survey Search API is a custom JavaScript library useful for creating a location search widget in a webpage, typically in conjunction with a web map. The widget connects to a database created for the API, or Application-Programming Interface, to quickly find and suggest locations as the user enters text to navigate to areas of interest. 

Date published: July 19, 2017

New App Shows Aquifer Level Change and Subsidence in Relation to Groundwater Withdrawals in Houston-Galveston Area

A new interactive web application illustrates how groundwater, sediment compaction and land-elevation change are related in the Houston-Galveston region in Texas. The new app was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and is available online.

Date published: July 14, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Heavy Flooding in Ohio

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring heavy flooding in the Columbus and Newark Ohio areas, as well as the northwest part of the state.