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
Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.
Fish, wildlife, and human populations along the lower Columbia River are exposed to an ever-growing variety of contaminants as a result of increasing urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural development.
The Camas National Wildlife Refugeprovides essential resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl including migratory birds. A variety of other animals, large and small, are found there, too. Since the refuge was established in 1937, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been responsible for managing this vital resource.
Traditionally, Camas Creek and groundwater inflow...
The Arizona Water Use program collects and estimates annual water withdrawals for the categories of irrigation, municipal, mining, thermoelectric-power, and drainage uses. The data for these categories are compiled for the Arizona Department of Water Resources groundwater basins outside of Active Management Areas.
As Hurricane Matthew moved up the Atlantic coast of the U.S., the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC) deployed most of the USGS Storm-Tide Network along the Atlantic coast to monitor the timing, extent, and magnitude of the storm tide during the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
• Go to the USGS Hurricane Matthew...
Download posters covering nine different water topics that are drawn in a cartoon format. Activites are included and Elementary and Middle School versions are available.
Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The U.S. Geological Survey Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) at the Fort Collins Science Center has developed the North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) to provide users with a graphic tool to aid in...
Wood River Valley residents rely on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. The rapid population growth since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource.
Nutrient enrichment can affect the ecological health of a stream. For example, excessive aquatic plant growth caused by increased nutrients can reduce dissolved oxygen necessary for other aquatic life. Topics of particular interest in this study area include:
seasonal patterns among nutrients, flows, algae and plants in streams
rooted aquatic plant vs. algae growth
In August 2013, the Beaver Creek wildfire burned more than 100,000 acres of public and private land northwest of Hailey, Idaho. According to the U.S. Forest Service, about 57 percent of the area is considered moderately burned, and the risk of post-fire soil erosion is high on more than 8,400 acres.
Because fluvial sediment poses both economic and ecological problems, resource managers need a safe, cost-effective way to measure sediment in streams, particularly in remote areas.
Sedimentation of Lower Granite Reservoir, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, affects commercial navigation and reservoir storage capacity. Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir to remove excess sediment may negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.
Streamflow, water quality, and constituent loads and yields, Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area, Rhode Island, Water Year 2016
As part of a long-term cooperative program to monitor water quality within the Scituate Reservoir watershed, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Providence Water Supply Board collected streamflow and water-quality data at the Scituate Reservoir and tributaries. Streamflow and concentrations of chloride and sodium estimated from...Smith, Kirk P.
Flood-inundation maps for the Pawtuxet River in West Warwick, Warwick, and Cranston, Rhode Island
A series of 15 digital flood-inundation maps was developed for a 10.2-mile reach of the Pawtuxet River in the municipalities of West Warwick, Warwick, and Cranston, Rhode Island, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The coverage of the maps...Bent, Gardner C.; Lombard, Pamela J.
Pesticide inputs to the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, 2015–16: Results from the Delta Regional Monitoring Program
Emergent hypotheses about causes of the pelagic organism decline in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta) indicate that a more complete understanding of the quality of water entering the Delta is needed. Less than half of all pesticides used in the Delta watershed are measured in samples collected for routine monitoring, and with new pesticides...De Parsia, Matthew; Orlando, James L. ; McWayne, Megan M.; Hladik, Michelle L.
Temporal and spatial monitoring of cyanobacterial blooms at Willow Creek Reservoir, North-Central Oregon
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms in Willow Creek Reservoir in north-central Oregon in 2015–16. A combination of cameras and water-quality monitoring equipment was used to assess the frequency and duration of blooms...Smith, Cassandra D.
Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy
Executive SummaryThe Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy (CWRMS) provides an overview of the water-quality and ecological monitoring within the Reserve and presents suggestions from stakeholders for future data collection, data management, and coordination among monitoring programs. The South...Fisher, Shawn C.; Welk, Robert J.; Finkelstein, Jason S.
Santa Barbara and Foothill groundwater basins Geohydrology and optimal water resources management—Developed using density dependent solute transport and optimization models
Groundwater has been a part of the city of Santa Barbara’s water-supply portfolio since the 1800s; however, since the 1960s, the majority of the city’s water has come from local surface water, and the remainder has come from groundwater, State Water Project, recycled water, increased water conservation, and as needed, seawater desalination....Nishikawa, Tracy; Paulinski, Scott R.; Nishikawa, Tracy; Cromwell, Geoffrey; Boyce, Scott E.; Stanko, Zachary P.
Using cluster analysis to compartmentalize a large managed wetland based on physical, biological, and climatic geospatial attributes
Hierarchical and partitional cluster analyses were used to compartmentalize Water Conservation Area 1, a managed wetland within the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Florida, USA, based on physical, biological, and climatic geospatial attributes. Single, complete, average, and Ward’s linkages were tested during...Hahus, Ian; Migliaccio, Kati; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.; Klarenberg, Geraldine; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael
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 M.; Fleck, Jacob; Kraus, Tamara E. C.; Downing, Bryan D.; von Dessonneck, Travis; Bergamaschi, Brian
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Streamside talk about a water managers perspectives on the complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed and the history / need for runoff forecasts for downstream water users. The talk led by Dagmar Llewelly (BOR), Carolyn Donnelly (BOR), Andy Wood (UCAR), and Flaivo Lehner (UCAR) focused on how stream forecasts are developed from snow information and how the forecasts are...
Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico gather at the first streamgaging station established by the United States Geological Survey in 1889 to learn about USGS streamgaging techniques.
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.
In this video, three speakers explain U.S. Geological Survey research on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the nutrients that cause these toxic emerald-green blooms in the Nation’s lakes, reservoirs, and coastal waters. Jennifer Graham and Tom Stiles discuss how USGS science is contributing to the development of early warning systems and predictive tools to guide management...
Did you know that changes in the amount of water in aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field? When the amount of groundwater in an aquifer changes, either by recharge or by discharge to surface water or wells, the gravitational acceleration at the land surface also changes. In this photo, USGS Research Hydrologist Jeff Kennedy is making measurements of...
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.
Land Elevation Changes Due to Groundwater Withdrawals Indicate Regional Shifts in Houston-Galveston Area
New Report Marks 40 Years of Subsidence Investigations
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.
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.
New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries.
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.
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
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.
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.