Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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.Read Science Plan
Important questions about beach closures and management remain unanswered in the Great Lakes where over 500 beaches are routinely used along the nearly 11,000 miles of coastline. The economies of coastal areas are dependent on public confidence in the quality of water at the shoreline, and beach managers need reliable science-based information to make beach closure and beach management...
Enbridge Energy Partners LLP (Enbridge) reported a 30-inch pipeline ruptured on Monday, July 26, 2010, near Marshall, Michigan. The release, estimated at 819,000 gallons, entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream on the Kalamazoo River. As the federal agency in...
The National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) provides an understanding of water-quality conditions; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions. Regional and national assessments are possible because of a consistent study design and uniform methods of data collection and analysis. Monitoring data are...
Recreational water and industrial discharges are regulated by other federal and state agencies across the country. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) conducts studies to understand the fate and transport of fecal indicator bacteria in surface and groundwater to aid state and federal partners. A variety of standardized protocols are used to...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) conducts research on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their genes. We have concentrated our studies on antibiotic-resistant bacteria of human-health concern, including vancomycin-resistant enterococci, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) conducts ecological studies on the structure and function of eubacterial and archeal communities in the environment. Studies of this type give us basic information about the composition and functionality of different microbial communities and allow us to investigate the effects that natural and...
It is often important to understand the source of fecal indicator bacteria, pathogens, or chemicals that impair the normal use of water. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their genes, specific bacterial pathogens (such as E. coli O157:H7 which is primarily associated with cattle), and host-associated bacterial genes (such as human or animal specific Bacteroides genes), can be used to evaluate...
Recently, elevated chlorophyll-a concentrations were found related to persistent algal blooms on Silver Lake in Oceana County, MI. Elevated chlorophyll-a concentrations, high phosphorus concentrations during summer months, as well as a decrease in water clarity indicated potential accelerated eutrophication processes during the last two years, and underscore a need to characterize water and...
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Three Priority Watersheds have been targeted by the Regional Working Group's Phosphorus Reduction Work Group (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, and Maumee) and...
In support of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Water Chemistry Monitoring Project, the USGS Michigan Water Science Center has been collecting long-term water quality data for Michigan's rivers and streams.
The USGS compiles water use information by State including estimated amounts, sources, and categories of use every five years since 1950.
A biodynamic understanding of dietborne and waterborne Ag uptake from Ag NPs in the sediment-dwelling oligochaete, Tubifex tubifex
Metal nanoparticles (Me-NPs) are increasingly used in various products, such as inks and cosmetics, enhancing the likelihood of their release into aquatic environments. An understanding of the mechanisms controlling their bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity in aquatic biota will help support environmental risk...Tangaa, Stine Rosendal; Winther-Nielsen, Margrethe; Selck, Henriette; Croteau, Marie-Noele
Blurred lines: Multiple freshwater and marine algal toxins at the land-sea interface of San Francisco Bay, California
San Francisco Bay (SFB) is a eutrophic estuary that harbors both freshwater and marine toxigenic organisms that are responsible for harmful algal blooms. While there are few commercial fishery harvests within SFB, recreational and subsistence harvesting for shellfish is common. Coastal shellfish are monitored for domoic acid and...Peacock, Melissa B.; Gibble, Corinne M.; Senn, David B.; Cloern, James E.; Kudela, Raphael M.
Nanomaterials in the environment: Behavior, fate, bioavailability, and effects—An updated review
The present review covers developments in studies of nanomaterials (NMs) in the environment since our much cited review in 2008. We discuss novel insights into fate and behavior, metrology, transformations, bioavailability, toxicity mechanisms, and environmental impacts, with a focus on terrestrial and aquatic systems. Overall, the findings were...Lead, Jamie R.; Batley, Graeme E.; Alvarez, Pedro J.J.; Croteau, Marie-Noele; Handy, Richard D.; McLaughlin, Michael J.; Judy, Jonathon D.; Schirmer, Kristin
Streamflow, water quality, and constituent loads and yields, Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area, Rhode Island, water year 2015
Streamflow and concentrations of sodium and chloride estimated from records of specific conductance were used to calculate loads of sodium and chloride during water year (WY) 2015 (October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015) for tributaries to the Scituate Reservoir, Rhode Island. Streamflow and water-quality data used in the study were collected...Smith, Kirk P.
Comparison of NEXRAD multisensor precipitation estimates to rain gage observations in and near DuPage County, Illinois, 2002–12
In this report, precipitation data from 2002 to 2012 from the hourly gridded Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD)-based Multisensor Precipitation Estimate (MPE) precipitation product are compared to precipitation data from two rain gage networks—an automated tipping bucket network of 25 rain gages operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and 51...Spies, Ryan R.; Over, Thomas M.; Ortel, Terry W.
Analysis of groundwater response to tidal fluctuations, Operable Unit 2, Area 8, Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport, Washington
Operable Unit 2, Area 8, at Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport is the site of a former chrome-plating facility that released metals (primarily chromium and cadmium), chlorinated volatile organic compounds, and petroleum compounds into the local environment. To ensure long-term protectiveness, as stipulated in the Fourth Five-Year Review for the site,...Opatz, Chad C.; Dinicola, Richard S.
Do downscaled general circulation models reliably simulate historical climatic conditions?
The accuracy of statistically downscaled (SD) general circulation model (GCM) simulations of monthly surface climate for historical conditions (1950–2005) was assessed for the conterminous United States (CONUS). The SD monthly precipitation (PPT) and temperature (TAVE) from 95 GCMs from phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (...Bock, Andrew R.; Hay, Lauren E.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Markstrom, Steven L.; Atkinson, R. Dwight
Surface-water quality in the Lycoming Creek watershed, north-central Pennsylvania, August 1–3, 2011
This report presents the methodology and results for a study of surface-water quality of the Lycoming Creek watershed in north-central Pennsylvania during August 1–3, 2011. The study was done in cooperation with the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Samples of stream water were...Risser, Dennis W.; Conlon, Matthew D.
A method to quantify and value floodplain sediment and nutrient retention ecosystem services
Floodplains provide critical ecosystem services to local and downstream communities by retaining floodwaters, sediments, and nutrients. The dynamic nature of floodplains is such that these areas can both accumulate sediment and nutrients through deposition, and export material downstream through erosion. Therefore, estimating floodplain sediment...Hopkins, Kristina G.; Noe, Gregory; Franco, Fabiano; Pindilli, Emily; Gordon, Stephanie; Metes, Marina J.; Claggett, Peter; Gellis, Allen; Hupp, Cliff R.; Hogan, Dianna
Preliminary synthesis and assessment of environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed, Arizona
A 3-year study was undertaken to evaluate the suitability of the available modeling tools for characterizing environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed of central Arizona, describe riparian vegetation throughout the watershed, and estimate sediment mobilization in the river. Existing data on fish and macroinvertebrates were analyzed...Paretti, Nicholas; Brasher, Anne M. D.; Pearlstein, Susanna L.; Skow, Dena M.; Gungle, Bruce W.; Garner, Bradley D.
Long-term changes in soil and stream chemistry across an acid deposition gradient in the northeastern United States
Declines in acidic deposition across Europe and North America have led to decreases in surface water acidity and signs of chemical recovery of soils from acidification. To better understand the link between recovery of soils and surface waters, chemical trends in precipitation, soils, and streamwater were investigated in three watersheds...Siemion, Jason; McHale, Michael; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Burns, Douglas A.; Antidormi, Michael
Testing a two-scale focused conservation strategy for reducing phosphorus and sediment loads from agricultural watersheds
This study tested a focused strategy for reducing phosphorus (P) and sediment loads in agricultural streams. The strategy involved selecting small watersheds identified as likely to respond relatively quickly, and then focusing conservation practices on high-contributing fields within those watersheds. Two 5,000 ha (12,360 ac) watersheds in the...Carvin, Rebecca; Good, Laura W.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Diehl, Curt; Songer, Katherine; Meyer, Kimberly J.; Panuska, John C.; Richter, Steve; Whalley, Kyle
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.
Landsat satellites captured this image of Lake Erie during a harmful algal bloom event.
Jim Duda, USGS hydrologic technician, installs a Rapid-Deployment Gauge near the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, to monitor elevated water levels caused by Hurricane Jose. An RDG is a fully functional streamgage designed to be quickly deployed for real-time data monitoring of a stream or river in emergency situations. RDGs are indispensable tools used for flood...
Borehole nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an emerging geophysical method being applied to hydrogeology investigations. NMR is a quantitative geophysical method that can be used to make in situ assessments of porosity, water content, mobile and immobile water fraction, and estimates of permeability. While borehole NMR is commonly used in the oil and gas industry, it is...
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Idaho Power Company collected water, sediment, and biological samples from Brownlee Reservoir as part of an ongoing, cooperative study of mercury cycling in the Hells Canyon complex of reservoirs along the Snake River bordering Idaho and Oregon. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is also a partner in the study....
On September 19th, 2017 staff from the USGS NM WSC Albuquerque and Las Cruces offices visited a Climate Response Network (CRN) well just on the east side of the Organ Mountains outside of Las Cruces to receive training on integrity testing groundwater wells. What is integrity testing? Integrity testing involves adding a slug of clean water to a well and measuring how fast...
The Maine Office boat, "Miss Q", is parked next to the boat launch on Verona Island, ready to begin data collection on the Penobscot River. The crew was preparing to collect ADCP data (depth and velocity) as well as conductivity, temperature and depth profiles at various locations. In the background is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox.
Along the northeast coast of Puerto Rico, USGS hydrologic technician Francisco Almanzar surveys reference elevation points to ensure the accuracy of water level data. Almanzar and other USGS employees installed nine storm surge sensors along the coast on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 as Hurricane Irma approached.
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.
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.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Coastal Lowlands aquifer system in the southeastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the combined Valley and Ridge and Piedmont and Blue Ridge aquifers in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Deep drilling in eastern Virginia will evaluate past effects of groundwater pumping, land subsidence, and relative sea-level rise. Future injection of water is expected to add pressure, expand the aquifer, and raise the land surface.
U.S. Geological Survey scientist Dr. Robert Baskin is being awarded with a 2016 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Gov. Gary R. Herbert will present awards to 11 individuals and one company at the 30th anniversary awards dinner tonight.
Water users around the country can now view the past and simulated future of hydrologic processes.
You are invited to join USGS scientists and field technician crews as they collect discharge measurements in rainfall-affected areas.
Helpful new information for anyone designing structures over or near water, managing water distribution, or interested in the flow of local streams.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center is hosting a media event Wednesday, Jan. 11 at a USGS streamgage location about 7 miles north of Santa Cruz, California. A hydrologist will be available for interviews as field crews collect streamflow data.