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: 162
Date published: September 26, 2016

Lower Tennessee River (LTEN) Basin Study

Welcome....the Lower Tennessee River Basin in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi is one of the 59 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water...

Date published: September 24, 2016

Streamflow Data Available Online

The USGS in Michigan-in cooperation with local, State, Tribal, and Federal partners-operates 155 streamgages recording stage and streamflow, and 13 lake-level gages. There are about 7,400 streamgages nationwide; many of these gages provide real-time data in 15-minute increments, which typically are transmitted to the World Wide Web every 1 to 2 hours using satellite, telephone, or cellular...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Low-Flow Streamgage Network in Michigan

Data on low-flow characteristics are used by water-resources managers for a variety of purposes, including water-supply planning, making decisions about wastewater-discharge and water withdrawal permits, and evaluating in-stream flow requirements. The Michigan low-flow network currently consists of seven sites where streamflow is typically measured only during low-flow periods. In addition to...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Water-Quality Monitor Network in Michigan

The USGS operates a network of real-time water-quality monitoring stations that measure up to five physical parameters. The parameters are temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. One to four of those parameters are measured at 26 sites, while all five parameters are measured at 13 sites. These data are used for decision making about hydroelectric power...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Crest-Stage Streamgage Network in Michigan

Historically, small streams with drainage areas less than 100 square miles have not been adequately represented in regional peak- (high) flow analysis. In Michigan, USGS operates 24 traditional crest-stage gages, where stage and streamflow is only measured during high flows, and 6 continuous-record crest-stage gages, where cooperators can continually monitor stage and USGS maintains a high-...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Connecting Channels

In response to decreasing water levels in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) asked USGS to continuously measure flows in the connecting channels of St. Marys, St. Clair, and Detroit Rivers, and Water Survey Canada (WSC) to measure flows of Niagara River. To accommodate the effects of variable backwater and the...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Bacterial Pathogens

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) studies the source, occurrence, and distribution of the bacterial pathogens Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus and the relation of occurrence of pathogens with fecal indicator bacteria, land-use, season, hydrology, geology, weather...

Contacts: Natasha Isaacs
Date published: September 24, 2016

Avian Botulism in Distressed Great Lakes Environments

Botulism outbreaks occur within the Great Lakes and often result in significant bird die offs. It is believed that Clostridium botulinum is the reason for these die offs and the trophic pathways that this organism travels are of interest to understanding its place within the food web. The GLRI Avian Botulism Project is investigating six different matrices: sediment, Cladophora, invertebrates,...

Contacts: Natasha Isaacs
Date published: September 24, 2016

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) is a newly renovated laboratory space operated by the USGS Michigan Water Science Center in Lansing, MI. The laboratory is staffed by two Ph.D. level microbiologists and five M.S. level microbiologists with a combined 70 years of experience in microbiology and water resources research. The USGS MI-BaRL...

Contacts: Natasha Isaacs
Date published: September 24, 2016

Determine Baseline and Sources of Contaminant Loadings to the Great Lakes

To better understand the quality of water flowing into the Great Lakes, the USGS is conducting water-quality analyses for nutrients, sediment, and toxic substances and estimating the amount (load) of these substances for tributaries to the Great Lakes. Information on the occurrence and distribution of contaminants is needed to provide baseline information, measure progress towards restoration...

Contacts: Daniel Obenauer
Date published: September 24, 2016
Status: Active

Acoustics

Michigan Water Science Center used acoustic meters for about 90 percent of the streamflow measurements made in Fiscal Year 2012. Wading measurements are done using a modified top setting wading rod equipped with an acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV). Acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) are used when measurement depths are too deep to wade. ADCP measurements can either be made with a...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Date published: September 24, 2016

Groundwater Data Available Online

The USGS Michigan Water Science Center cooperates with local and state agencies to collect and maintain groundwater data across Michigan. The USGS and local partners actively monitor 90 wells. Of these 90 wells, 22 are continuously monitored with 3 of those continuously...

Contacts: Chris Hoard
Filter Total Items: 14,140
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.

Year Published: 2018

Nitrogen concentrations and loads for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, Connecticut, computed with the use of autosampling and continuous measurements of water quality for water years 2009 to 2014

The daily and annual loads of nitrate plus nitrite and total nitrogen for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, Connecticut, were determined for water years 2009 to 2014. The analysis was done with a combination of methods, which included a predefined rating curve method for nitrate plus nitrite and total nitrogen for water years 2009 to 2011...

Mullaney, John R.; Martin, Joseph W.; Morrison, Jonathan
Mullaney, J.R., Martin, J.W., and Morrison, J., 2018, Nitrogen concentrations and loads for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, Connecticut, computed with the use of autosampling and continuous measurements of water quality for water years 2009 to 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5006, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185006.

Year Published: 2018

Spatial and temporal variation in sources of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Rocky Mountains using nitrogen isotopes

Variation in source areas and source types of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition to high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains were evaluated using spatially and temporally distributed N isotope data from atmospheric deposition networks for 1995-2016. This unique dataset links N in wet deposition and snowpack to mobile and stationary...

Nanus, Leora; Campbell, Donald H.; Lehmann, Christopher M.B.; Mast, M. Alisa
Nanus, L., Campbell, D.H, Lehmann, C.M.B., Mast, M.A. (2018) Spatial and temporal variation in sources of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Rocky Mountains using nitrogen isotopes: Atmospheric Environment, v. 176, p. 110-119.

Year Published: 2018

Hydrologic assessment of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter Forsythe refuge or the refuge) is situated along the central New Jersey coast and provides a mixture of freshwater and saltwater habitats for numerous bird, wildlife, and plant species. Little data and information were previously available regarding the freshwater dynamics that support the...

Wieben, Christine M.; Chepiga, Mary M.
Wieben, C.M., and Chepiga, M.M., 2018, Hydrologic assessment of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5088, 38 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175088.

Year Published: 2018

Hydrogeology of, simulation of groundwater flow in, and potential effects of sea-level rise on the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system in the vicinity of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 47,000 acres of New Jersey coastal habitats, including salt marshes, freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, barrier beaches, woodlands, and swamps. The refuge is along the Atlantic Flyway and provides breeding habitat for fish, migratory birds, and other wildlife species. The...

Fiore, Alex R.; Voronin, Lois M.; Wieben, Christine M.
Fiore, A.R., Voronin, L.M., and Wieben, C.M., 2018, Hydrogeology of, simulation of groundwater flow in, and potential effects of sea-level rise on the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system in the vicinity of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5135, 59 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175135.

Year Published: 2018

Bioremediation in fractured rock: 1. Modeling to inform design, monitoring, and expectations

Field characterization of a trichloroethene (TCE) source area in fractured mudstones produced a detailed understanding of the geology, contaminant distribution in fractures and the rock matrix, and hydraulic and transport properties. Groundwater flow and chemical transport modeling that synthesized the field characterization information proved...

Tiedeman, Claire; Shapiro, Allen M.; Hsieh, Paul A.; Imbrigiotta, Thomas; Goode, Daniel J.; Lacombe, Pierre; DeFlaun, Mary F.; Drew, Scott R.; Johnson, Carole D.; Williams, John H.; Curtis, Gary P.
Tiedeman, C.R., A.M. Shapiro, P.A. Hsieh, T.E. Imbrigiotta, D.J. Goode, P.J. Lacombe, M.F. DeFlaun, S.R. Drew, C.D. Johnson, J.H. Williams, G.P. Curtis, 2017, Bioremediation in Fractured Rock: 1. Modeling to Inform Design, Monitoring, and Expectations, Groundwater. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12585

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: 954
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 floodwaters at the USGS...

USGS scientist Jeff East is monitoring streamflow and flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
August 26, 2017

USGS Scientist Monitoring Streamflow & Flooding from Hurricane Harvey

In addition to staff that conduct field measurements of flooding conditions, others monitor information indoors. Here, USGS scientist Jeff East is monitoring streamflow and flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

 

USGS scientist Matthew Barnes makes the highest streamflow measurement ever recorded at Eagle Ferry Rd near Anahuac, Texas.
August 26, 2017

Highest streamflow recorded near Anahuac, Texas.

USGS scientist Matthew Barnes makes the highest streamflow measurement ever recorded at Eagle Ferry Rd near Anahuac, Texas. Find more
information from this site information here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=08042558

A streamgage near a bridge cross over a river.
August 26, 2017

USGS Streamgage on West Side of Houston During Hurricane Harvey

Photo of a USGS streamgage on the west side of Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Find more information from this site information here:
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=08072680

 

Filter Total Items: 365
Date published: February 22, 2017

South Dakota Native to Head USGS Dakota Water Science Center

Joyce E. Williamson, a native of South Dakota and a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology alumna, was selected as the director of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey Dakota Water Science Center. Williamson is located in the center’s Rapid City, South Dakota, office. 

Date published: February 22, 2017

Sediment Flows into Galveston Bay Studied to Help Understand Health of Watershed

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Date published: February 16, 2017

Land Elevation Changes Due to Groundwater Withdrawals Indicate Regional Shifts in Houston-Galveston Area

New Report Marks 40 Years of Subsidence Investigations

Date published: February 13, 2017

New USGS Field Method is a Breakthrough for Contaminant Analysis in Water Samples

The U.S. Geological Survey published a new report highlighting a portable continuous-flow centrifuge which aims to save time and money on contaminant analysis of particles suspended in water samples.

Date published: February 13, 2017

New USGS Map of High Plains Aquifer Represents Conditions After Enacting Changes To Agricultural Management Practices

Water-level changes from 2002 to 2015 were examined in wells screened in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin and the results are now available in a new U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map.

Date published: February 8, 2017

USGS Releases New JavaScript Library for Plotting Water Data for the Nation

A new JavaScript library, called GWIS (Graphing Water Information System), can create time-series plots of information measured at U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic data collection sites across the United States.

Date published: February 8, 2017

Bigger May Not Be Better When It Comes to Mississippi River Diversions

New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries. 

Date published: February 1, 2017

Christian Zimmerman to Lead Studies as New Director of the Alaska Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.

Date published: January 30, 2017

Shrinking Number of Long-term Monitoring Sites Could Hamper Scientists’ Ability to Measure Recovery of Impaired Streams

Consistent, national-scale and long-term water-quality monitoring of the Nation's rivers and streams has declined, in some cases, by more than half over time

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: January 24, 2017

USGS Uses State-of-the-Art Science to Estimate Nutrient and Suspended-Sediment Loads in the Klamath Basin

USGS uses state-of-the-art science techniques to estimate phosphorus and suspended-sediment loads to Upper Klamath Lake in the Klamath Basin.

Date published: January 24, 2017

Uranium in Spring Water North of Grand Canyon Likely Not Related to Nearby Mining Activity

Uranium levels in Pigeon Spring, just north of the Grand Canyon, are likely due to a natural source of uranium and not related to the nearby former Pigeon Mine, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: January 19, 2017

Groundwater Quality in the West: Examining Basin and Range Basin-Fill Aquifers

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers, which include parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and adjacent states, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.